PERSPECTIVE-Imagine if your bimonthly DWP bill included a line that stated “reserved for political activity.”
Would you be upset?
Well, $11.8 million of your ratepayer money is sitting in the accounts of the DWP’s Joint Training and Safety Institutes. The two nonprofits fall under 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Unlike a 501(c)(3), where campaign spending and lobbying are forbidden, a (6) is free to spend on political activity.
This stash of cash is over three times the annual operating expenses, so its purpose must be more than a rainy day fund.
Then what is it for?
It is time to put that question to all present and past members of the boards of the two nonprofits. I certainly do not expect IBEW boss D’Arcy and his crew to provide an answer. But do you think we might be able to squeeze some information out of the boards’ DWP management representatives?
I really do not know, but I suspect no one is trying very hard.
Sure, everyone is waiting for the courts to rule on whether D’Arcy must hand over financial records, but those financial records may not provide a clue as to what’s in store for the $11.8 million cash balance.
Subpoenas should be issued for all the board members as well as the accountants and the trusts’ managers. Make them testify under oath. If any of them assert their fifth amendment rights and refuse to testify, they will not be shielded from the court of public opinion.
In the end, public opinion will largely decide who the villains are.
(Paul Hatfield is a CPA and former NC Valley Village board member and treasurer. He blogs at Village to Village and contributes to CityWatch. He can be reached at: [email protected])
Vol 12 Issue 15
Pub: Feb 21, 2014