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August 12, 2005
Air America: Gloria Wise Not An 'Appropriate Source'?

David Lombino at the New York Sun continues to out-hustle the Paper of Record on the ever-widening scandal at Air America involving the transmission of government grant money from Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club. In his report today, Lombino discovers that Air America lacks confidence in its creditor's legitimacy:

A spokesman for Gloria Wise, Jim Grossman of Rubenstein Public Relations, said yesterday Piquant has "agreed in principle to return the money, but there is no schedule and no money back - no timetable."

"All they have done is put something in an escrow fund," he said. "Lawyers for Gloria Wise are trying to get this into some formal agreement."

Air America contends that Mr. Grossman's characterization is misleading, and that an agreement has been reached between Piquant and the club that includes a timetable for a "voluntary repayment of loans made to Evan Cohen and Progress Media," according to a statement released by the radio network last night.

"Until the claims of financial impropriety are resolved, we're not going to give the club the money directly until we know it is going to an appropriate source," a spokesman for the network, Jaime Horn, said.

Another day provides yet another poor excuse from Piquant about not paying the money back they took from the poor kids and Alzheimer's patients for whom the grant money was earmarked. Try to follow the tortured logic at play here from Ms. Horn. Air America executive Evan Cohen transfers large amounts of cash from the charity (which pays him $75 grand a year) in order to keep the network afloat, and by some accounts, uses forged documents to commit fraud in doing so. Air America benefits from this wrongdoing. Now the fact that Cohen engaged in wrongdoing to benefit Air America lets them off the hook for reimbursing Gloria Wise because, and I quote, of the "claims of financial impropriety"? Instead, they will continue to just keep depositing their payments into their own escrow account, essentially just transferring money to itself while pretending it reflects repayment of its debt.

It's almost exactly like a murderer demanding mercy for killing his parents on the basis of his status as an orphan. The logic is completely circular. Air America corrupted Gloria Wise by engaging in "financial impropriety", and now that impropriety lets Air America off the hook from paying it back. Using RBMN's comment on my earlier post, that lets every bank robber off the hook for restitution as well.

Michelle Malkin and Brian Maloney have much, much more on the latest developments of this story.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 12, 2005 6:51 AM

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