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Report: non-profit misused $223,000 of taxpayer money
ALBANY-- A report by the New York State Comptroller revealed the Phoenix House, a New York City area non-profit, misused $223,000 of taxpayer money.
According to the Comptroller's report, Phoenix House gave their highest paid administrative staff nearly $91,000 in bonuses. The six staff members who received the bonuses had a combined salary of $1,086,000 the office reported.
The report also claims Phoenix House gave one of their employees a vehicle valued at over $15,000 and another $80,000 in perks. The outgoing employee was given $40,000 to come back to the agency, in the future as a consultant, and another $40,000 to hire a headhunter to find him a new job.
"The money was earmarked for public purposes consistent with the programs goals," said Nelson Sheingold Counsel to Investigations at the Comptroller's office. "In this case that was to help treat people struggling with dependency, it was not earmarked to be used in accordance with Phoenix House guidelines with the perks we outlined."
The Phoenix House helps people recovering from drug, alcohol, and gambling problems their official website states.
Karen Sodomick the Vice President of Communications for the Phoenix House tells CBS6, "This audit was not about the quality of Phoenix House treatment services or client care. Having said that, Phoenix House takes this audit seriously and started addressing the specific findings months ago."