Although the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had initially asked the leadership of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade (NPRDP) to submit documentation this week surrounding an investigation about the relationships the non-profit NPRDP has with corporate sponsors, the deadline for the submission was extended until after the parade concludes on June 9, a NPRDP spokesperson said.
The extension of the deadline was done as a courtesy by the AG’s office, according to Javier E. Gómez, NPRDP’s press officer.
This latest news comes a day after The New York Post published a story where sources close to the investigation say that the AG’s office has “expanded its probe into the nonprofit that runs the Puerto Rican Day Parade to include the group’s management of all its corporate backers.”
The story continues:
The “wide-ranging” investigation focuses on the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Inc., which manages the parade, the source said.
Local activists have alleged “conflicts of interest we see at the board level,” said Ramon Jimenez, a lawyer for Boricuas for a Positive Image, a Harlem-based group, who yesterday sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman seeking a wider probe.
Among those conflicts is that the president of the nonprofit’s board, Madelyn Lugo, is married to board member Luis Rivera. Rivera has worked as a paid consultant for GALOS Corp., the for-profit marketing agent for the parade, Jimenez said.
The nonprofit paid GALOS $103,108 last year, according to tax filings.
Calls to Lugo were not returned yesterday.
Despite having major sponsors, the group has operated in the red during the past two years.
This month, the AG began probing the use of the parade’s name on commemorative cans of Coors Light. MillerCoors has removed the cans from stores.
“The NPRDP is a not-for-profit organization, and there is subject to the law,” Gómez said. “The attorney general has the full right to request any sort of document and sure that all processes are in abidance with the law.”
Gómez also noted that the Post article contains several inaccuracies. When asked about what those inaccuracies were, he would not address specifically.
Earlier this week Latino Rebels interview Lugo for 30 minutes about the current Coors Light controversy and the attorney general’s investigation. You can read the full interview here.