ALBANY, NY – Alison Boak was recently excoriated by the press for failing to disclose her income on her state ethics disclosure form. Now, new revelations surround Boak’s relationship with her Chicago-based, taxpayer-funded charity that threaten to sink her 40th Senate District campaign.
The International Organization for Adolescents’ (IOFA) goal is to combat human trafficking, according to its website. However, its financials tell a different story.
Scott Reif, a spokesperson for the Senate Republican Campaign Committee said “It’s galling that while taking in over $1 million in taxpayer funding, Ali Boak’s non-profit functioned as her personal piggy bank. When most of their money is spent on salaries, benefits, travel, rent and is very substandard in terms of non-profits, voters are left wondering if Ali Boak cares more about luxury travel to and from Chicago than she does human trafficking victims.”
Recent reports have indicated Boak failed to disclose if she received income from IOFA on her state ethics form. In years past, Boak had paid herself a salary from IOFA, according to several prior IRS Form 990 submissions.
What is most glaring about the IRS Form 990 submissions, however, is the sheer amount the charity spent on salaries and travel instead of programming. IOFA, spent only 6% of its income on programming in 2014, while spending 82% of its income on salaries and compensation and another 5.77% on travel for directors of the Chicago based charity, including Boak, who was the only paid member of the Board of Directors besides the Executive Director. The IRS form 990s from 2013, 2011, 2010 and earlier years show a similar pattern.
In 2009 and 2012, the organization spent nothing at all on direct program expenses and all its expenditures went to pay salaries and travel. Meanwhile, Boak’s JCOPE ethics disclosure form shows her household income was over $1,000,000.
At various times, IOFA has been the recipient of government funding that was intended to help victims of human trafficking. However, records show that the taxpayer dollars were diverted to salaries, benefits and travel expenses. In addition, there are questions as to whether administrative expenses were inappropriately itemized as programming expenses to hide their true intent from charity watchdogs such as Charity Navigator.
Reif concluded, “Ali Boak is just another craven New York politician looking to use a nonprofit for personal gain. There are too many stories of Albany lawmakers abusing their personal nonprofits for private profit, can voters really risk sending another high-risk offender to Albany?”