Monday, April 07, 2014

Dolan's NonProfit Status Revoked For Failure to File Tax Returns


Illick's Mill
Many of you have heard about or visited Illick's Mill. One of Bethlehem's treasures, it's an 1856 grist mill that serves as the centerpiece of a park along the Monocacy Creek. This park was established by the FDR administration during the Great Depression. Today, that historic mill is known as the Fox Environmental Center. It's a nonprofit under the direction of Karen Dolan. A member of City Council since 2006, she is also the Parks' Chair. Must be very convenient. Despite using her elected office to gain favorable treatment, her record is one of mismanagement so bad that she lost nonprofit status for a year. Thanks to a Northampton County Grand Jury, we all know about the abuse at nonprofit National Museum of Industrial History. But the Steel Museum never had its nonprofit status revoked, which happened to Dolan. No elected official is involved in conflicts of interest, which is certainly true of her.

Between 2001 and 2009, Dolan worked to restore the old mill. She had a ready supply of labor in the form of Liberty High School students. After all, she was teaching there. Her husband was a teacher at Bethlehem Vo-Tech, and that school soon began helping with the project, too. The City of Bethlehem also provided a lending hand.

According to the nonprofit webpage, over $1.3 million was raised to restore the mill. How much of that is public money is anybody's case. The most recent 990 (that's a nonprofit tax return) is from 2007. It lists at least $121,000 in public funding in that year alone. But what about subsequent years? Guidestar, an online repository for nonprofit financial records, has nothing beyond 2007. Where are those records?

Perhaps even more troubling than the missing 990s is that Dolan's nonprofit owed $127,000 to Bethlehem. It was reported that way in several city audits. Then suddenly, in 2012, it was just written off with no explanation.

I wanted answers, and Dolan met with me in February.

"We're not the National Museum of Industrial History," she told me. "We've done everything by the book always."

I asked her to show them to me. Specifically, I wanted to know why Guidestar had no record of 990s after 2007.

Dolan handed me a bunch of financial statements. When I pointed out those are not 990s, she told me they are just as good. That may be, but I told Dolan I needed to see the 990s themselves. I wanted to know when they had been filed and why they did not appear at Guidestar.

After her initial attempt to mislead me, Dolan fessed up. She admitted that her nonprofit failed to file 990s in 2008, 2009 or 2010. She blamed her accountant, although she is the Executive Director, and the responsibility is hers. But rather than being responsible, she even executed a Power of Attorney to her accountant.

After three years, the IRS had had enough. Her nonprofit status was revoked on 5/15/11. It remained revoked until 5/15/12. (EIN 23-281225).

Dolan assured me that she raised no money during this time period. But just as she tried to mislead me concerning the 990s, she was dishonest with me about being dormant while the nonprofit status was revoked. The proof of that is an August 15, 2011 account in The Express Times.

There's this:
The organization is opening the center for event rentals as a way to fund the nature programs and the historic building’s upkeep, Dolan said. The three-and-a-half story building can comfortably fit 150 people and rents for $100 an hour or $1,200 for a wedding.
And this:
The center has an annual budget of about a $170,000 from a variety of sources, including rentals, grants, programs, fundraisers and memberships. The mill’s $1.3 million renovation was paid for entirely through grants.
Not only was Dolan raising money while her nonprofit status was revoked, she even insisted that she had a $170,000 budget. She also misled The Express Times into believing that she was at the time a nonprofit.

In the meantime, she managed to run up one hell of a tab with Bethlehem. A $127,000 debt was listed in several independent audits. Then suddenly, in the 2012 independent audit, the debt was marked written off.

What the hell happened?

Dolan insisted to me that she paid every penny owed to the City, but then why did auditors use the term "written off"? Dolan then attempted to tell me that's not what the audit says, but it is. After misleading  me twice, I'm unwilling to take her word unless it is backed up.

The independent audit would lead anyone to conclude that the City views the money owed by Dolan's nonprofit as a bad debt.

Bethlehem resident Steve Antalics raised this very question with Bethlehem City Council on March 3. Dolan had no explanation. Nor did any other member of Council. He was answered with silence.

Antalics also questioned using this nonprofit for weddings, especially since alcohol is consumed.

Instead of answering Antalics, Dolan did something else. You see, she chairs the Parks Committee and decided to convene a hearing to eliminate park regulations banning the use of alcohol at most city park venues. Obviously, her involvement in something that directly impacts her organization, particularly serving alcohol to make money within City-owned parks, is a huge conflict of interest.

Dolan, incidentally, denies that the Illicks Mill is part of Monocacy Park, which is kinda' like arguing that Musikfest is in Hellertown. But this lousy argument enables her to pour booze down the throats of paying wedding guests.

Another conflict of interest for Dolan is that she gets her heating oil for free, courtesy of the City. Just like that. This is what she recently told Antalics as well as me. Antalics sought confirmation from Ralph Carp, the City's Parks and Public Works Director. Carp answered with "No comment", according to Antalics

So basically, you have a City Council member who directs a nonprofit on municipal property. Its status was revoked because she failed to file 990s for three years straight. She pays no rent, and is not even paying for snow removal, heating oil and other services that other nonprofits on municipal property pay. The $127,000 she owed to the City suddenly vanished. She somehow gets herself appointed as Chair of the Parks Committee when her own nonprofit is smack dab in the middle of a park, which she claims is not a park. She decides she wants to relax booze rules in the park because Antalics and others have questioned exactly what kind of alcohol is served at Illick's Mill weddings.

At the last budget cycle, she lobbied to have parks workers paid more money. Last Winter, she started getting free oil. Hmmmm.

Dolan is a walking, talking conflict. Her participation on the Parks Committee is an invitation for trouble. There needs to be a compete accounting of the $127,000 her nonprofit owed to Bethlehem, and why that debt was written off. When she lost her nonprofit status, she continued to raise money and misled the media that she was open for business and should be required to pay the fair market value of rental income during that year. If other nonprofits on City-owned property must pay rent, then she should, too.

I was not going to write this story when I saw her in February, since Dolan broke down, and tearfully told me that the public release of this information would "ruin" her. But then I heard that she was telling other people, including reporters, that I investigated this and found there was "no story." That's yet another lie. The kicker was when she decided to relax booze rules in city parks.

She needs to resign from City Council or her nonprofit. Perhaps both.

124 comments:

John Q. Public said...

Wow! This lady has big ones. Here she is commending bouncers for being a-holes, being predjudiced against the Church, and making bias and untrue statements about that Bethlehem police officer all the while having a graveyard in her closet. Ain't that a hoot?

Anonymous said...

Two points, one you will hate.

One, she was a consistent vote for the Callahan Admisntration. If you want to know why she got such special treatment ask your buddy former Mayor Callahan. she was not the only one. Also another reason why so many people in Bethlehem did not vote for Callahan. Ten years of that was enough.

Two, What is the salary if any she draws from the mill?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I get your Callahan point, but facts are facts. She was not elected to City Council to make things easier for her nonprofit. As for your second point, her salary is modest. $20-24,000. But I don't trust a word Dolan says, and believe there needs to be a serious and detailed inquiry into the income, expenses and spending. The debt question needs an answer, not silence. The use if the property for weddings needs to be examined in detail. The heating oil issue demands an explanation. Accepting donations while the nonprofit status was revoked is outrageous.

This is the same person who was so arrogant and condescending to 11 people who applied to a vacancy. She needs to resign and let one of them take over. She is a disgrace to her office.

Anonymous said...

There's truth in this post, but it's distorted, misleading and loaded with bias. The false information is intentionally bad journalism with bogus information fed to the blogger by cranks and politically-motivated creeps. Bernie wasn't even at the meeting he "reports" on, but why should that stop him from spreading BS?

Anonymous said...

I am a fierce critic of Mr. O'Hare on his county posts however, her is right on with this. This is not about Dolan personally but about the abuse of power. This s wrong on many levels.

Please explain how anyone can defend this behavior an dhow she has pulled this off? I tend to agree that she can't have it both ways. Give up her seat on city council or run her non-profit on city owned land. One or the other.

Reality Now!

Bernie O'Hare said...

The person who tried to feed me bogus information is Karen Dolan. She tried to steer me away from the 990s. She tried to claim her nonprofit was dormant when its 501c3 status was revoked, and that is refuted by a. 2011 Express Times story. I did not attend the meeting in which she proposed relaxing the booze rules, but did attend the meeting in which Antalics raised questions about her debt to the city. I was at a meeting a few years prior, when Dana Grubb asked the same question.

I also heard, from several sources, that Dolan was telling others that there was no need to look at her bc I had and concluded there was no story.

In short, Dolan has been dishonest. I definitely have a bias against elected officials who are dishonest.

Anonymous said...

Dolan needs to resign. And she should be brought charges against her. Bethlehem voters need to be vigilant on this. What a shame

Anonymous said...

will booby d form a committee to figure this out or will he be a real mayor and put a screeching halt to this mess? wasn't he on council when all this happened? What about evans , belinski and DG? will wee willy grow some and at least take his co-Callahan conspirator off the parks committee. there is more to this than just dolan - lots of players including the former BD and mayor.

a whole lot of stink in bethlum

will morganelli have the guts to investigate his cronies?

damn good reporting Bernie!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What is the matter with Reynolds? He knew of this conflict and still appointed her chair of the parks committee. What a mistake.

Anonymous said...

Hoping the Bethlehem Township people read this carefully, understand this and do whatever is necessary to ensure things like this don't happen at their Housenick mansion site. I recall BO reporting in the past how this individual lectured the Township how well things are running at the Illicks Mill and that could be a model for the Housenick Park. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Once again, this Blog investigates and reveals things no local newspaper is able or willing to touch. Unfortunately, public service as 'watchdog' could lessen the amount of party invitations the writer receives.

Bernona non grata, so to speak!

Fred Windish

Anonymous said...

I hope Dolan sues O'Hare and gets the $67k he is getting from a mentally challenged soon to be homeless person.

Anonymous said...

Monday morning rush precludes serious study of your excellent report but among the many troubling issues here is Dolan as a teacher and with huge grade power and college admission influence for these students and the school principal remained quiet? What else has happened at this school? Could any average Joe get away with stuff like this?

Anonymous said...

Where will any local reporters be with constant layoffs? Is the future of news online content only?

Anonymous said...

a whole lot of stink in bethlum

will morganelli have the guts to investigate his cronies?

damn good reporting Bernie!!!!!

5:51 AM

ditto.

Anonymous said...

Dolan you have been "pwnt"

Anonymous said...

Dolan's problem is those goddamn Catholics. Her life would be better if those fish eating baby cultists would just go away. She's a real progressive with all the requisite bigotry and hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

I agree with her. This was unnecessary. It seems she's helping the community and a bit disorganized. Illicks Mill should a city run operation.

Who gives a shit if alcohol rules are relaxed? They should be. What is this, Utah?

Anonymous said...

"Bethlehem City Councilwoman Karen Dolan, the founder of a nonprofit that raised $1.4 million to restore Illick's Mill, questioned who would donate money after such a damaging grand jury report.

"Reputation is everything to a nonprofit. It's that belief in a nonprofit's ability to fulfill its mission that compels people to contribute their money," Dolan said. "Even a bad newspaper article — let alone a grand jury report like this — can damage that reputation."

http://articles.mcall.com/2014-02-06/news/mc-bethlehem-museum-funding-questions-20140206_1_industrial-museum-industrial-history-grand-jury-report

Who will donate money to Illick's Mill now, Karen?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, congratulations on destroying whatever progress was made to conserve the mill.

Anonymous said...

To bad none of this came out during last years primaries. That' when a real change could have taken place.

Now we have the same old players with a few new acolytes who owe the machine their seats. Think anything will happen? Got a bridge to ell you.

Anonymous said...

Dolan will skate the law and nothing will be done to her for this. Once again elected/appointed officials doing what's best for their personal gain. Nice job Bernie, glad someone has the B@lls to report the truth.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Yeah, congratulations on destroying whatever progress was made to conserve the mill"

I was under the impression that the mill had been conserved. Isn't that why you raised $1.3 MM?

Bernie O'Hare said...

8:40, That Dolan comment is one of many reasons why I consider a phony. She gets on her high horse and makes statements like that, or questions whether Lynne Cunningham has a conflict, but is o=unwilling to scrutinize her own behavior. And she has been getting worse. I actually feel sorry for the Council members who have to put up with her rants.

Time for the nonsense to stop. What happened to the $127k? Why did you continue taking money from the government when your nonprofit status was revoked? Time for the Mill to start paying rent. No more free heating oil.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Who gives a shit if alcohol rules are relaxed? They should be. What is this, Utah?"

There has been no hue and cry to relax the ban. It's actually a good idea. It's what makes Bethlehem, Bethlehem. Parks are places where families should be able to take their children and enjoy the creek, not a place for people to gather for keggers. And Dolan should have nothing to do with this since it has a direct impact on her nonprofit.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" Unfortunately, public service as 'watchdog' could lessen the amount of party invitations the writer receives."

Would you want to go to a party with the takers? No thanks.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" I recall BO reporting in the past how this individual lectured the Township how well things are running at the Illicks Mill and that could be a model for the Housenick Park. Go figure."

Dolan actually insulted Bethlehem Tp the night she was there. I agree that concerns about her merit close scrutiny of anyone leading a nonprofit effort.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"What is the matter with Reynolds? He knew of this conflict and still appointed her chair of the parks committee. What a mistake."

I asked the same question. Dolan was apparently appointed by Evans when he was Prez. I doubt Evans or Willie knew what kind of bullshit she was pulling. Now I think it is time for her fellow Council members, nit just Steve Antalics, to demand answers. Or is it just a club in which they protect each other instead of the public?

Anonymous said...

Obviously, Bernie, you made this whole story up.

Government is good and is 100% only looking out for teh people.

Silence from their Council, all of whom will prove to know nothing about any of this, is simply a show of respect.

-Clem

Anonymous said...

Willie knew exactly what the deal was. Exactly.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Hubris is a bitch.

Anonymous said...

Who heads up her board? They share more than a little culpability.

Bernie O'Hare said...

http://www.gbfox.org/Board.html

Anonymous said...

Can't bring it up.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It works. Try again. Copy and paste.

Unity PAC said...

"Bernie's blog ruins lives" - Jim Gregory

Gregory has been right time and time again.

Anonymous said...

CORRUPTION in BETHLEHEM!!!!!
SHOCKING!!!

Ovem Lupo Commitere said...

"Hoping the Bethlehem Township people read this carefully, understand this and do whatever is necessary to ensure things like this don't happen at their Housenick mansion site."

I know the focus of the article is Illicks Mill, however, 1.) Dolan had made some flippant comment at the Twp meeting how the COB should try to take over Housenick,and 2.) more troubling is that I see that Vicki Bastidas is on the Board for Fox. While I caution against too much guilt by association, as a Board member (if its a meaningful board) wouldn't/shouldn't she be aware of these issues? Vicki has always seemed quite passionate, and visionary with Housenick, but hopefully the caveat is heeded by Township officials to proceed with caution. Dolan may have caused a very bad ripple effect. Quite unfortunate, as both the Illick's Mill restoration, and potential Housenick restoration, are positive things.

Anonymous said...

"The independent audit would lead anyone to conclude that the City views the money owed by Dolan's nonprofit as a bad debt."

What independent audit? This is pure speculation. Could be a number of things including an accounting error.

Anonymous said...

This is coming from someone that helped her getting elected. She is a Callahan pawn. She is as dirty as he is. Check the campaign finance reports check her posts on Facebook at 3 am. She is a disaster. Sad that she WAS. A school teacher. If you live in a glass house. You know the rest.

I am ashamed that I live in Bethlehem with this council and we elected her the past mayor his brother and a no balls wanna be mayor Reynolds

Anonymous said...

"After her initial attempt to mislead me, Dolan fessed up. She admitted that her nonprofit failed to file 990s in 2008, 2009 or 2010. She blamed her accountant, although she is the Executive Director, and the responsibility is hers. But rather than being responsible, she even executed a Power of Attorney to her accountant."

§ 5712. Standard of care and justifiable reliance.

In performing his duties, a director shall be entitled to rely in good faith on information, opinions, reports or statements, including financial statements and other financial data, in each case prepared or presented by any of the following:
(2) Counsel, public accountants or other persons as to matters which the director reasonably believes to be within the professional or expert competence of such person.

Clearly she was under the impression that her public accountant was taking care of the 990's. What possible benefit could she get from willfully failing to file a 990? No benefit whatsoever. Clearly she relied on her accountant's insights in good faith to the nonprofit's detriment; However, who would guess that their accountant would commit negligence?

She was well within Title 15 of Pennsylvania law governing nonprofits in her decision to rely on her accountant's expert knowledge under the circumstances. Perhaps you should include the relevant statute in your articles before you allege any sort of mismanagement or wrongdoing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"What independent audit? This is pure speculation. Could be a number of things including an accounting error."

An independent audit does not leave room for "a number of things." The term written off is an indication the city has given up collecting what it considers a debt. In fact, an accountant who was with Dolan when I discussed this agreed with me. Dolan attempted to deny it said what it said.

Bernie O'Hare said...

4:47, The law does not give her permission to waste three years. It does not mean she can just abdicate her own responsibility as Executive Director by incredibly signing over a power of attorney. She is the Executive Director and must accept responsibility for the failure to file 990s for 3 years in a row. If she couldn't even get her taxes filed, Lord knows how much she ignored City bills. She'll blame that on Charlie Brown, who is dead and can't defend herself. She'll blame her accountant. She'll blame me for pointing this out. The one person she won't blame is the one she should - herself.

Anonymous said...

Bethlehem is indeed a house of thieves. From the past Admisntration to the council members it elected, it is easy to see how these things occur. Why do you think some Donchez supporters are scratching their heads at keeping different people in place. He was a silent partner for years. All the same activity just different teams. Amazing.

That is the problem in old Bedlum. It is an insider deal and if you are on the inside all things are possible.

Of course the real culprits are the voters. They keep voting for the same people over an dover again.

Why do you think they call it Bedlum!

Anonymous said...

Bernie:

You did good. There are no investigative reporters in the local press. You do a great job. Graft in Bethlehem is the MO. We need a few good people to wear wires in this town to nail old mayors, building inspectors, old zoning officers, and City Council members. Rumors are rampant. Rumors are that there were two FBI investigations, but no one was indicted. People left town because of the FBI investigations. The rumor is money from favored developers to building inspectors for early notice that a building is going to be condemned. Do you know any department heads that have accepted cash for early notice? Do you know any developers who moved to Florida, after the FBI investigations? Any well known Bethlehem developer names that now live in Florida? Ask around. Sorry, I have to stay anon.

Anonymous said...

Having known Ms. Dolan for years I must say I was a bit shocked when I started reading Bernie's blog post. As I got deeper into it I realized there's a lot of truth in it.

As a voter here in Bethlehem I'm ashamed that Ms Dolan has done this. Also double ashamed of the city council. Action should be taken right away.

Bernie...Can we vote to "impeach" a council member or are we stuck with her ?

Bernie O'Hare said...

The citizenry has no power to impeach or even recall an elected official. We're stuck with her unless she resigns.

I used to admire Karen, but she has grown increasingly imperious and erratic. I tried to pretend it wasn't 't there and would have voted for her last election cycle if I lived in Bethlehem. I had heard rumblings but had to see it for myself. I did on the night she played games with 11 candidates for a council vacancy.

Anonymous said...

Edgar is just trying to humiliate another public figure because that is what he enjoys most, serial sadism has no place in civilized society.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for addressing the impeachment question. I think this "Dolan deceit " goes deeper than her. Looking at the years in question and the current situation, I'm dying to know where did the over 100k in debt go? Who forgave it? Who else knew about it? Who knew and chose to say nothing? This story should be on major network news. The folks anyway remotely connected to Ms Dolan or those who know where and how the debt was cleared should be shaking in their boots.

Imagine who or what lies in the middle of this onion as we begin to peel back the layers. Keep Digging Bernie! Let us know how we can help. It's much deeper than just Ms. Dolan.

Anonymous said...

Should Mayor Donchez initiate an investigation, or should City Council? What happens if both, the Mayor and City Council, ignore this? Should the IRS, or the FBI be brought into this?

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:03, 7:54, My guess is this matter is under scrutiny by the appropriate city officials. Council could launch an investigation, but they are essentially without the means to look into these kinds of questions. They do have the means to ask for a report, instead of greeting people with silence. This matter needs to be explained publicly. If Dolan can explain that all debt was paid and can persuade the Controller, the public needs to know. If not, the public needs to know. Council can ask Dolan to pay rent for the year she was at the mill without the proper status. Any funding the City provided that year is probably illegal and needs to be returned. A municipality can not give money to a private entity that is not registered as a 501c3.

I do know this story is not going away. It's just beginning.

Anonymous said...

You aren't making any friends bernie! I applaud you for writing this. Keep us updated as its obvious the express ( I don't read those a-holes at the morning call) is more interested in movie reviews and baby stories.

Hank_Hill


Bernie O'Hare said...

Hank, Don't give up on the papers. The Express and Morning Call both cover Bethlehem well. Be patient.

Anonymous said...

First off, isnt it the City Auditors who first brought this issue to light? Why are we so quick to blame the past administration. This non profit started long ago. Seems like just another excuse for the Callahan haters to hate. Dolan was by no means a slam dunk for a vote for Callahan. If Karen is in trouble it is her own doing. But lets also not forget bthat she took and old delapidated building and made it a show case and it is the City and the Authority who own it that benifited. The city got over a million dollars in improvements and "Wrote off" less than $200,000. not a horrible deal.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully you are right.

Hank_Hill

Anonymous said...

Citations, sources other than general hearsay, anything substantial that has teeth? There doesn't seem to be any of that in this article.

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:11, It is not City auditors, but an independent auditor who has repeatedly raised this issue. If the City is owed money and that money has not been paid, yes, it is a horrible deal. That tells me the $1.3 million spent to refurbish the building was packed with lard. It tells me there was a lot of waste, and not too many questions. As a Council member, Dolan has a fiduciary obligation to taxpayers. She needs to explain what happened, not Callahan or anyone else. And she needs to be able to back it up because her word means little to me.

Anonymous said...

"First off, isnt it the City Auditors who first brought this issue to light? Why are we so quick to blame the past administration. This non profit started long ago. Seems like just another excuse for the Callahan haters to hate. Dolan was by no means a slam dunk for a vote for Callahan. If Karen is in trouble it is her own doing. But lets also not forget bthat she took and old delapidated building and made it a show case and it is the City and the Authority who own it that benifited. The city got over a million dollars in improvements and "Wrote off" less than $200,000. not a horrible deal."

Seriously Bernsie, your article leaves out facts...well facts in general, but facts that the public needs to know. Otherwise you're just as misleading and deceitful as you claim Karen Dolan is.

Anonymous said...

"That tells me the $1.3 million spent to refurbish the building was packed with lard. It tells me there was a lot of waste, and not too many questions."

Speculation

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Citations, sources other than general hearsay, anything substantial that has teeth? There doesn't seem to be any of that in this article"

Excuse me? Her nonprofit's 501c3 status was revoked for a year, and I linked to the IRS site showing the revocation. She admitted she failed to file 990s for 3 years straight. She lied to Lynn Olanoff while under revocation, and was soliciting money when she was not supposed to be doing so. All of this is factual. So arer the repetitive audit reports, showing a $127k debt to the City that is suddenly written off.

The evidence against Dolan is damning.

Anonymous said...

You're right bernsie I bet this goes all the way up to the Vice President!

Anonymous said...

You're right bernsie I bet this goes all the way up to the Vice President!

Anonymous said...

You're right bernsie I bet this goes all the way up to the Vice President!

Anonymous said...

The other shoe will drop.....soon.

Dolans Booboo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

You can't post something like that unless you ID yourself and have some proof. Otherwise, you make both you and me look bad.

Anonymous said...

Following the link regarding the revocation you see that the revocation wasn't posted until February 22, 2012 so that the organization was only under revocation status for less than three months. And the organization was unaware of this revocation at the time of the article published in the express times on August 15 2011 which you claim is proof that they raised funds while they were aware they were under revocation. Additionally, the IRS link notes that contributions made during the revocation status are still tax-deductible upon reinstatement.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The revocation occurred in 5/11. Dolan was notified as soon as the revocation occurred, and told me she knew. She told me it lasted 18 months though it appears to have been only a year. She told me they had to reapply completely, and it was very time-consuming. You are making excuses for mismanagement. An Executive Director who is only mildly attentive would not let three years go by without filing a tax return. Also, there is no doubt in my mind that, just as she misled me, she misled the Express Times. Keep digging. You're just making your hole deeper.

Dolans Booboo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Interesting.
The IRS Link that you provided shows that they were notified on February 22, 2012 and reinstated in May 2012. But you don't believe this because of something that she told you about something that happened years ago. Everywhere else you don't believe her but here you do. 
The IRS revokes effective on the date that third 990 form was due. Obviously it would take some time for the IRS bureaucracy to get act. Your comment appears to be disingenuous when it states that the revocation occurred in May 2011. And that she was notified when it occurred. The revocation posting date that YOU linked to is the revocation notification date. 
And, typically, you ignore the fact that the contributions made during the revocation period are still tax-deductible since the organization was reinstated. 

Anonymous said...

So you are bashing this person who seemingly is a full time teacher and a City Council member because she wasn't completely aware of all business practices of a historic building she offered her service to oversee? Who else was lining up to take over the mill? Looks like she screwed up - what exactly did it cost taxpayers?

Anonymous said...

Wow. What a mess

Bernie O'Hare said...

" Looks like she screwed up - what exactly did it cost taxpayers?"

Between $127,000 and $1.3 million.

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:23, According to Dolan herself, she had notice of the revocation for 18 months before she got it back. But go ahead and keep digging.

Anonymous said...

Your last statement, BO, is internally inconsistent with your article. Your article states that the organization failed to file the 990 returns for three straight years ending in May 2011. The IRS link you provided indicates that the revocation posting date was February 2012 and reinstatement was May 2012. You certainly don't want your readers to believe that you think the IRS revoked an organization on the day that the return was due? 
Keep digging? I'm only following the link you put in your story- maybe you should read the link you put in your story

Bernie O'Hare said...

Stop being a sophist. Her 501c3 status was revoked 5/15/11, and the link I provided established that. It was reinstated 5/15/12, and the link I provided established that. Dolan told me she was notified if the revocation when it occurred, and told me it took her 18 months to get the 501c3 back. It was not 3 months. It was a year, may have been longer and she knew.

Anonymous said...

You're going to win another award for this post. Well deserved. Thank you for your work.

Anonymous said...

Between $127,000 and $1.3 million.

Your article states that they raised 1.3 million to restore the mill. The mill is restored, you said later on. So where is this loss of funds again? Is this speculation? Is this throwing shit against the wall and hoping something sticks? Kudos on the investigation but it seems you have a lot of innuendo and assumptions here.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Who knows how much of that $1.3 million was wasted. Who knows how much is public money. Who knows what happened to the $127k owed to the city? You asked, and I answered.

Anonymous said...

Good job taking down bad guys, the oh so secretive, corrupt, and evil world of nonprofit nature centers.

Anonymous said...

Clear to see that true blue party hacks will defend absolutely any abuse.
Unfreaking believable.

This public servant thinks she is above ethical behavior.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yep. The arrogance at 4:10 reveals precisely why this story had to be told. I am glad i did.

Anonymous said...

She does nice things. She doesn't need to be accountable.

Anonymous said...

Interesting at the least; corruption and conflicts of interest at their local best... How can you argue it is not in a park? The building is, it is owned by the city, surrounded by the park, and it uses the city park parking lot... City parks have hours of operations, which are violated routinely by people in the park and parking lot attending events at the mill... Who has the liability insurance for alcoholic incidents? I'm sure the city would be liable no matter what liability insurance the mill possesses (deep pockets theory)... Conflicts of interest in multiple arenas, let alone potential violations of law... She should resign at minimum... BTW, I donated to the mill during the period of being suspended as a non-profit entity; so they were definitely still soliciting and collecting money. How was that legally accounted for and reported? Let alone the write off of the debt to the city (inside job)? Too bad there is no "Tea-Party" affiliation to this organization, because it would have instantly been investigated.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget who the author of this article is: http://www.scribd.com/doc/76423281/bernie-o-hare-22-page-law-license-suspension

If you want to see deceit and mismanagement, look no further than Bernie himself.

Anonymous said...

Things like this make other nonprofit organizations look bad and that is a shame. I think the work done at the mill was good work, but it sure does not excuse not following the rules. Bad girl.

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:59, So now, my legal suspension in 1985 is a defense to someone who failed to file 990s, got her nonprofit status revoked, misled the media about it, kept on raking in the dough and may owe the City $127k. Makes sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Bernie does a pretty good job on these stories. If he has any weakness it is his inability to see beyond his beliefs. Dolan has been a bad lady with this deal. That being said the entire story would not have occurred without the help and support o John Callahan, Kelly, Hanna and a host of players. Bernie refuses to deal with that so he doesn't' allow that part of the story. As a result we only get a snippet of a much larger story and a long history of Bethlehem insider deals.

Why do you think Hanna wanted to flee city employment for the safety of an authority?

Sorry Berne but the entire story must be told not just the part you want.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is a point you made yesterday. I reported on what I know. If you have evidence that Callahan, Kelly or Hanna is involved in this, please share it. But you can't just cast stones unless you're anonymous. I have to take responsibility for what I write, unlike you. Your real problem is you want me to tell the story you want to hear.

Anonymous said...

When they start attacking the messenger you know you are on to something real.

Anonymous said...

Good story Bernie. I do happen to agree with 9:17, as do many Bethlehem employees and citizens but I understand your dilemma.

Keep on digging. You could live one hundred years and barely scratch the surface in Bedlum!

Anonymous said...

Why would BOH hesitate on attacking Callahan? He accused him of covering up his relative's DUI. (And then promptly assumed the position of Callahan sycophant.) That was a pretty irresponsible article. There is something to be said for professional journalists - they usually have conclusive facts on their hands before reporting a story.

Anonymous said...

You have done a service for every taxpayer and citizen in Bethlehem,Mr O'Hare. Thank you sir

Bernie O'Hare said...

8:42, There was nothing irresponsible in that story. I noted the accident and the fact that it did not appear in either paper, and asked whether it was a cover up. There had to be a reason it was not in the media. But I never had proof and eventually believed Callahan played no part. But it was important to tell the story. Had it been told on the day it happened, there would have been no question. But the delay raised concerns. It would be irresponsible NOT to report on it.

In this case, there is no question Karen FDolan failed to file 990s for three years. There is no question her 501c3 status was revoked. There is no question that audit report after audit report showed she owed the City $127k. There is no question she was raising money while her 501c3 was revoked. There is no questions she misled the ET There is no question she misled me, and tried to steer me away from the 990s. She is absolutely he worst kind of person to have in office.

Anonymous said...

Hate to say it, but there is something very 'Washingtonian' about all of this.

Fred Windish

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
With the exception of the 127K, this is really not a City of Bethlehem problem. If she ran her non-profit in a crappy manner, that is between her and the IRS.
As for the 127K, as I understand it, this was construction costs. Since, the City owns the building, it could be argued they spent money improving an asset. I am sure that building increased in value as a result of all the work there.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, it is a City problem. The City should not be involved with nonprofits that are run in a crappy manner. That shit has a way of coming back at them. Not only is the City involved, it is leasing the property to her. So even if every penny of the $127k can be explained, which I doubt, she needs to go. And we have not even touched upon the inherent conflict that results from her role as a City Council member. This is a disgrace, and you better wake up to the reality that citizens don't appreciate this kind of relationship.

Anonymous said...

Stop attacking this fine citizen

Anonymous said...

This is the most misleading, inconsistent, and unfair piece of "journalism" you have ever written. Clearly this is a self-righteous smear campaign on your part. Your article is based on an Express-Times feature story that ran years ago, an undocumented, private interview you had with Dolan as remembered by YOU, IRS information that contradicts your argument, and a total lack of understanding of non-profit law.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I see. Well thank God we have anonymous trolls like you.

Anonymous said...

The changes in the parks law weren't even Dolan's idea; the Parks Department requested them. Of course, you weren't at the meeting, so how would you know what happened? And perhaps a certain "controlling" gossip might actually do his job and research the so-called missing money instead of hanging around everybody's desk waiting for something to leak.

Anonymous said...

This is great reporting Bernie. Keep it up.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is time for Karen Dolan to go. 3 yrs of unfiled 990s. A revoked 501c3, Misleading me. Misleading story with the ET. $127 in debt to the city that suddenly goes away. Free heating oil. No rent. An attempt to bring more booze into the parks. A hand-picked board. She has to go.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, there must be a whole lot of people who want to make $24,000 in a full-time job, especially with paper assholes like you just waiting to pounce. Just one other fact you conveniently leave out of your armchair "investigative work:" This $127,000 was grant funding raised by Dolan that the city funneled for major repairs to the mill. Maybe the money was spent, and the grant didn't come through. Who knows? Did the city ever invoice Dolan? Is there a trail of unpaid bills? You'd know the answer if you stopped by City Hall and asked, but I know you haven't done that, Bernie. No, you'd rather mislead and whine than actually do real investigative work. And, of course, I'm anonymous. Everyone is except you, because you are a hateful person who enjoys hurting people, even the ones who are essentially good, so why on earth would anyone want to expose themself to your creepy bile?

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is time for Karen Dolan to go. 3 yrs of unfiled 990s. A revoked 501c3, Misleading me. Misleading story with the ET. $127 in debt to the city that suddenly goes away. Free heating oil. No rent. An attempt to bring more booze into the parks. A hand-picked board. She has to go.

Anonymous said...

One last glaring ommission that Bernie knows but isn't "reporting." Dolan's non-profit paid for all utilities throughout the 10-year restoration process, including -- for the first year -- lights and electricity for Monocacy Park. The city decided to pick up the costs to heats ITS OWN building, once the non-profit opened the Nature Center to families, schools, scouts, park-goers, etc. for free. To afford these free services, the non-profit rents the upstairs, just like Historic Bethlehem and the Sun Inn do with their properties. The difference is HBI and the Sun Inn charge money to see their exhibits. I guess the Fox could pay the city to heat a city-owned building, and just close the building to the public, charge money for people to get in. That would be totally legal. Would that make everybody feel better?

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is time for Karen Dolan to go. 3 yrs of unfiled 990s. A revoked 501c3, Misleading me. Misleading story with the ET. $127 in debt to the city that suddenly goes away. Free heating oil. No rent. An attempt to bring more booze into the parks. A hand-picked board. She has to go.

Incidentally, the only utility I mentioned in my report is heating oil. You have to learn how to read before you criticize how someone reports.

Anonymous said...

The the Flack Catchers are working overtime. Do you think they are on the clock, or is it pro bono?

Bernie O'Hare said...

There might be a Solicitorship in it for the bald-headed attorney afraid to sign his name. After all, Dolan wants to be Mayor.

Anonymous said...

Naturally she's lawyered up, wouldn't you be?
She's got the machine together rallying around her. The board members might not be that lucky, they may have to pay for their own legal representation.

Bernie O'Hare said...

None of the board members were there when all this was going down.

Anonymous said...

Did Council vote to cover the costs of the utilities. If not who made that decision. In and of itself it doesn't sound unreasonably.

100% board turnover?
That unusual,no?

Anonymous said...

Yes, she received multiple invoices from the City, told the City she would pay but never did.

Anonymous said...

I wish there would be a 100% turnover on Bethlehem city council!

That is just a dream as this is Bedlum and the sheeple vote the way they vote in this berg.

Anonymous said...

Four of seven members are in their first term.

Anonymous said...

100% board turnover isn't unusual as most boards have term limits so after 7 or 8 years, within a 3-year period everyone on a board is new.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:21, Nope. Not true. Lots of invoices over the years, but no outstanding invoices. Remember, these aren't loans; the city gave no cash to Karen Dolan or to the mill restoration, and the city did not charge for in-kind help because the city owned the building and wanted this project to get done. No cash here. No loans. All the pass through funds and projects were based on grants raised by the non-profit: tracked in an account called "Illick's Mill." And sometimes grant money comes through as expected and some time it doesn't, especially government grants. The auditors suggested writing it off because there wasn't money due. Grant funds weren't still coming, the restoration was over, and no records of anything outstanding. By the time of the audit, Dolan hadn't gotten an invoice for three years. Not too controversial. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

What responsible not-for-profit or their board spends grant money before it has been approved? You got to be kidding me?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I believe 4:33 is misleading, and is obviously trying to downplay what happened. It extended over a number of years, so records may be "missing." Or not. The City fronted the costs of various improvements at the Mill, and Dolan assumed responsibility for making sure they were reimbursed out of grants dedicated to that purpose. Instead of using that money to reimburse, she would instead spend it elsewhere bc she simply is pretty bad at handling money. The deficit grew over time. My guess is the City just decided to write it off. In effect, taxpayers subsidized $127k in improvements, and may have used borrowed money to do it, bc I understand these payments came from the nonutility capital projects account. So in reality, when interest i=on loans is considered, taxpayers may be paying double that amount.

Anonymous said...

•Who is the grants administrator for
Bethlehem's Parks Dept.?

•Has the city given out funds in excess of $100,000.00 to other 501-C3's before the grant funding has been secured?

Someone has some serious explaining to do.
This calls for some accountability on both ends of the $$$$$
This is highly irregular.

Bernie O'Hare said...

My information in this point is strictly anecdotal, based on what I've learned from people dealing with the nonprofit. I have filed no RTKs, but several others have done so.

Anonymous said...

You want answers? Ask your buddy Tony Hanna. That is if you are serious about the truth.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tony Hanna has been out of that loop a long time, if he was ever in it at all. The person most prominently in that loop is Karen Dolan.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

You are correct. They are misleading and not telling the truth. All you or one of the papers needs to do is file a RTK request and 4:33 will be shown to be a liar.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The RTKs have been filed, not by me, but by others interested in what happened.