The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

07 December 2006

Air America Bankruptcy Hearing, Network Sale Progress


Plus: Community Activists Furious Over Gloria Wise Deal

In mere moments, Air America Radio's bankruptcy court hearing should be getting underway, with the liberal talk network in a tough position: it must either demonstrate that a reasonable, bona fide purchase offer has been made, or plead for mercy and hope for the best.

Earlier this week, we told you about the potential bidders that have so far emerged, but the network's executives were said to be sticking to a fairly high number until late in the process. With several stations now abandoning the libtalk format, one would imagine the price should drop like a rock.

We still believe that if the operation can be saved, it will be because former board member Doug Kreeger has succeeded in putting together enough investors.

If not, it's possible the judge could grant another extension, or simply shut it down altogether. At this moment, nobody knows for sure what will happen.

Meanwhile, community leaders and neighborhood activists in the Bronx are busy fighting the astoundingly lenient proposed sentences for the key perps in the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club scandal, where grants meant for the charity were instead diverted to Air America Radio and elsewhere.

Many people smelled a rat after Attorney General (now Governor- elect) Eliot Spitzer approved a deal that allowed the crooks to avoid jail time and repay only part of the money that was stolen. Was Spitzer looking out for his friends?

Ahead of sentencing, they've even circulated a petition to ask the judge to reconsider, according to the New York Post:

December 7, 2006 -- A Bronx judge yesterday postponed sentencing two former executives who sacked the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club of $1.2 million - after hearing impassioned pleas from Co-op City residents and relatives of the charity's namesake who want the pair to serve jail time.

"My sister's name has been dragged through the mud," said Juanita Garrido, whose sister, Gloria Wise, died in 1993 and was a founder of the club that served kids and the elderly at Co-op City. "If Gloria was alive, we wouldn't be here today."

"He took her legacy," Garrido said of Charles Rosen, the former director of the Boys & Girls Club at Co-op City.

About 500 letters and petitions with 1,300 signatures were turned over to Supreme Court Justice John Byrne, calling for him to reconsider a plea deal negotiated with state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer that called for probation and partial restitution.

The judge said he needed time to review petitions, letters and other information about the case. He set a new sentencing date for Dec. 21.

Rosen and his assistant, Jeffrey Aulenbach, pleaded guilty in October to felony charges of stealing about $150,000 for their personal use. Under a plea deal, they were to repay about $80,000 and would not face jail time.

Rosen had also pleaded to forgery charges in a bid to cover up his use of $845,000 from the taxpayer-funded group to provide start-up capital for the lefty radio network Air America. The network repaid the money after the city launched a probe of the club in 2005.

In the wake of the scandal, the national Boys & Girls Club pulled Gloria Wise's charter and the city yanked in more than $10 million of annual contracts for social services that the club provided around Co-op City. Those services were picked up by other groups.

An even better idea would be to prosecute those on the receiving end of the money! How did they avoid punishment?

That money, earmarked for children and the elderly, instead was used to fund Air America's operations.

Despite that, Al Franken and his friends have never even apologized for their network's role in the mess.

ELSEWHERE: Michelle Malkin's roundup of Pearl Harbor discussions.

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AAR Scandal: Darleen Click, Havin': Pete at IHillary, Down The Drain: David A Lunde

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  • Glad to see your managing to finding ways to revive the Gloria Wise story.

    By Blogger Elmonica, at 07 December, 2006 13:35  

  • Elmonica said...

    "Glad to see your managing to finding ways to revive the Gloria Wise story."

    Glad to see you are still too stupid to grasp the point that a felony was committed by Err America

    By Blogger WPDunn71901, at 07 December, 2006 19:07  

  • Look, anyone with even the remotest understanding of what has been going on at Co-op City for the last ten years would understand how truly asinine this whole beef really is....

    Is Pearl Harbor Freakazoid Worship Day over yet?

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 07 December, 2006 23:52  

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