Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) October 25, 2010
Public Interest Watch (PIW), http://www.publicinterestwatch.org, plans to file complaints with the Fair Political Practices Commission and the California Attorney General's Office of Charitable Trusts Division related to both a potential conflict of interest and violation of California's non-profit statutes, involving The Elk Grove Economic Development Corporation (EGEDC), a California based 501(c)(6) non-profit organization.
According to the organization's website: "EGEDC is a 501 c (6) non-profit corporation whose purpose is to improve and develop business and economic conditions within the Elk Grove, California, region, to promote and foster the creation of new businesses and jobs within the Elk Grove region, to attract new businesses and business investment in the Elk Grove region, to facilitate the expansion and retention of existing businesses in the Elk Grove region, and to carry on other charitable and educational activities associated with this goal."
As both a recipient of taxpayer forbearance in the form of their tax status and direct contributions of taxpayer monies from the City of Elk Grove special duty of care to ensure that no monies are directly or indirectly used to assist or subsidize political campaigns must be a top priority.
In this case the EGEDC is subsidized by the City of Elk Grove directly through annual monetary contributions and subsidies (i.e. hyperlinks on the official City of Elk Grove website), while EGEDC board members' endorsements of City Council member Pat Hume's re-election (Tim Moran and Gregg Mason) present a possible conflict as they both have items before the City Council on which Pat Hume is a member.
"EGEDC, is just one example of the many organizations that PIW has identified over the years that may have failed to meet disclosure and conflict of interest guidelines as required by law," stated Lewis Fein, PIW Executive Director. "I have great respect for people who dedicate their lives to assisting those in need, but that's all the more reason to hold organizations like EGEDC accountable, if there is any wrongdoing or conflicts involving EGEDC. Non-profits must meet a higher standard of public trust, and to do that they must scrupulously follow the letter of the law," Fein continued.
About Public Interest Watch
Public Interest Watch (PIW) was established in 2002 in response to the growing misuse of charitable funds by nonprofit organizations and the lack of effort by government agencies to deal with the problem. PIW works to fight charitable trust abuse by exposing individual cases of abuse and advocating for stronger governmental oversight, including requirements for greater financial disclosure by charitable organizations.
PIW is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit corporation, with additional offices in California. PIW is a 501(c)4 tax-exempt organization, which means contributions to PIW are not tax-deductible. Initial funding for PIW has been provided by business organizations.