April 30, 2012
Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos’ office aborted its attempt to conduct a limited audit of its contract with the Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Inc. (“LIAAC”) due to lack of cooperation by the agency. LIAAC was not adequately forthcoming with requested documents and records that as required under its contract with the County. Comptroller Maragos is now recommending a review of the agency by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who oversees charities in NYS, by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli who oversees NYS contracts and the County Attorney for potential breach of contract.
"“The lack of transparency by LIAAC, a non-profit organization, raised very disturbing questions as to how taxpayer money is being spent,” Comptroller Maragos said. “Our discovery that the CEO of this non-profit was earning over $432,000 in compensation from multiple employers caused further concern. Upon failure to cooperate with our audit, we had no choice but to discontinue using LIAAC for further County services.”
The County’s contract between the Nassau County Department of Health and LIAAC was for HIV prevention, education, outreach and crisis intervention services to its residents. In 2010, the contract amount was $190,767. LIAAC provided a toll-free hotline for County residents needing HIV information and/or services, case management for those who are infected, and outreach and education to the County’s schools and community-based organizations. This contract was not renewed after April 2011, as the above services are available to residents through the State of New York.
"Other non-profit groups have stepped in to continue the services previously provided by LIAAC,” Comptroller Maragos said. “The individuals in need of these services should receive the best care possible and the taxpayers who fund these agencies deserve to know their tax dollars are not being wasted.”