Councilman Fernando Cabrera facing criticism from community organizations over ice rink proposal

Community organizations are accusing Councilman Fernando Cabrera of attempting to funnel money into a nonprofit organization while dealing with Kingsbridge National Ice Center Partners. KNIC

The councilman insists he was acting in the best interest of his community when he requested funding.

The councilman insists he was acting in the best interest of his community when he requested funding. (11/27/13)

THE BRONX - Community organizations are accusing Councilman Fernando Cabrera of attempting to funnel money into a nonprofit organization while dealing with Kingsbridge National Ice Center partners.

KNIC and 27 community organizations met in February to discuss ways the nonprofit would give back if the community agreed to let it build an ice rink at the Kingsbridge Armory. The councilman insists he was acting in the best interest of his community when he requested funding of $200,000 per year for 99 years to be split evenly between school athletic programs and the nonprofit group Community Action Unlimited.

After signing negotiations, members of community group Northwest Bronx did some research and found out the IRS revoked CAU's nonprofit status years ago. The discovery is raising questions about the group’s credibility and has people pointing fingers at Cabrera.

The councilman is adamant that he is not, nor ever was, part of CAU's leadership. "It is not the council member's responsibility to vet these groups," says Cabrera. "We're not supposed to get involved in these nonprofit organizations."

Cabrera says this project continues to move forward, but there are still some lease issues and land use procedures that he says need to be resolved. A hearing on the ice rink is scheduled for Dec. 5 and the council member anticipates a vote on Dec. 9.

The councilman told News 12 he cannot vote in favor of the ice rink if those issues are not resolved by then.
 

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