Liberal radio network mired in investigation
Alan Feuer, New York Times
August 13, 2005 AIRAMERICA0813
NEW YORK – Air America, the fledgling, financially strapped liberal radio network, is at the center of an investigation by the New York attorney general and New York City’s Department of Investigation into financial impropriety. They are looking into whether a boys and girls club serving poor children and ailing elderly people in the Bronx improperly gave money to the network.
The separate investigations are trying to determine whether the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club made improper loans of up to $875,000 to the radio network, known for its liberal programming and hosts such as comedian Al Franken, the officials said.
The allegations of financial impropriety at Gloria Wise came to light in June, when the Department of Investigation said in a letter to the club that all city agencies were canceling their contracts with Gloria Wise, citing "significant inappropriate transactions and falsified documents."
Jim Grossman, a spokesman for Gloria Wise, said the club had given Air America about $875,000.
According to a statement posted last month on the network’s website, the current owners of Air America, Piquant LLC, said they are not responsible for the loans because they had been given to the radio network under the leadership of its previous owner, Progress Media.
Jaime Horn, a spokeswoman for Air America, said the loans had come through the network’s former chairman, Evan Cohen, a venture capitalist, who resigned under pressure from Air America in May 2004.
Franken took up the issue on the air Monday afternoon, telling his listeners that Cohen was “a crook” who had borrowed money from Gloria Wise. “I don’t know why he did it,” Franken said, according to a transcript of the broadcast. "I don’t know where the money went. I don’t know if it was used for operations. I think he was borrowing from Peter to pay Paul."
Franken also said that the network’s new owners “don’t legally have to pay it back” – referring to the loans – “because we’re a different company or something.”
“But morally we do,” he said.
|“don’t legally have to pay it back” – referring to the loans – "because we’re a different company or something."|
I wonder if that will work with MY bank? Hmmm… gotta get busy and change “companies”…