The New York State Attorney General’s office has formally opened an investigation into the finances of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade, the Irish Voice has learned.
A letter sent last month by the parade’s board of directors to the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau prompted the investigation. The letter detailed a “misuse of assets” by John Dunleavy, the former chairman of the board’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration Committee, former board member Michael Cassels, and Dunleavy’s assistant Carla Chadwick. The board sent the letter to the Charities Bureau to comply with reporting regulations New York State requires of non-profit groups.
The Irish Voice has learned that the board of directors received confirmation last week that the Charities Bureau will investigate, and wants supporting documentation to go along with a forensic audit of the parade’s finances that was conducted by the board in June after Dr. John Lahey was voted in as chairman. In particular, the bureau wants back-up on certain double billings and other misuse of assets.
Members of the board declined comment on the latest development but plan on fully cooperating with the Charities Bureau investigation.
As first reported in the Irish Voice two weeks ago, the November 20 letter from the board to Assistant Attorney General Deborah Y. McCarthy detailed a number of Dunleavy’s charges on the parade’s American Express card, including multiple purchases of the male enhancement pill Triverex, hotel stays, restaurants and clothing. The letter also noted a number of supplies missing from the parade’s office in the Bronx, including a printer and two cloud storage devices.
The letter alerted the Charities Bureau about “recurring out of town trips for which there was no indication that said trips were related to company business, let alone that they had prior approval by the corporation,” and also said that Dunleavy ignored repeated requests by the parade board to address the credit card charges. (Cassels was removed from the board in September, after he repaid $1,752.86 in expenses he had double billed.)
In other parade news, members of the parade board plan to meet with New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm and other members of the Irish caucus in the council to inform them of the many changes that have occurred in the parade’s leadership since March.
An Irish gay group, the Lavender and Green Alliance, will take part in next year’s parade for the first time, joining OUT@NBCUniversal which marched this year.
Dromm was among those who hailed the parade board’s decision in September to include Lavender and Green, and said that he would march with the group.