CEO of Bronx homeless service provider fired amid criminal probe

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A Bronx-based homeless services provider has fired its CEO after she became the subject of a state criminal probe, The Post has learned.

The board of directors of Agulia Inc. fired Jenny Rivera on Oct. 9 and installed Ray Sanchez as the new chief executive to help clean up the mess at the non-profit social-services group, which has been awarded $250 million from the city Department of Homeless Services since 2012 to provide shelter to homeless residents.

Sanchez, an attorney, previously served as legal counsel to Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“Ray is well regarded. Aguila has a problem and Ray was hired to try to fix it,” said a Bronx police insider.

“Ray will be able to untangle what’s going with Agulia’s contracts [with the Dept. of Homeless Services],” the source said.

State Attorney General Letitia James’s office launched a sweeping criminal probe of Rivera and others associated with Aguila.

A search warrant reviewed by The Post revealed that investigators claimed they had  “probable cause” to investigate Rivera and unnamed co-conspirators for a host of alleged crimes including commercial bribery and bribe receiving, grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, falsifying business records, false instrument filing and money laundering.

The investigation also has targeted a fixture in the Bronx Democratic Party establishment.

Bronx County Clerk Luis Diaz was suspended from his duties by the state Office of Court Administration after the AG’s office obtained a search warrant and raided his office.

It turns out that Diaz, a former state assemblyman who makes $210,900 a year as the county clerk — the same as a state Supreme Court justice — has been moonlighting for years as a paid consultant to Aguila.

Diaz’s name also surfaced in a recent lawsuit filed against Aguila by Neighborhood Association for Inter-Cultural Affairs, which sought to take over or merge the two organizations. Rivera and the Aguila board illegally backed out of the deal, the suit claims.

Diaz was angling to be a paid consultant for the the revamped firm under a new board of directors, according to the suit.

“The taint of impropriety and waste that plagued Aguila stemmed from the poor leadership and mismanagement of its prior board of directors,” the suit alleges.

City audits and lawsuits have claimed shoddy and unsafe conditions at Aguila’s facilities.

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