Nos Quedamos (We Stay), a shining light in rebuilding the burned out Melrose neighborhood in the South Bronx, is on the critical list, struggling to pay its bills and the daughter of its founder being probed for draining its bank accounts.
Yolanda Garcia founded the nonprofit housing and social service group in 1992 to make sure the locals who stuck it out during the Bronx is Burning Years weren’t pushed out with redevelopment.
When she died at age 53 in 2005, her daughter Yolanda Gonzalez took over as executive director.
This past February, the board of directors suspended her without pay over questionable financial practices, including putting several relatives on the payroll.
Since then, program officials found she had drained the group’s bank accounts.
“We’re still trying to find the money,” said Ken Agosto, special assistant to state Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, brought in to try to save Nos Quedamos.
Several board members have since been replaced and Jessica Clemente named interim exec director.
Now, Agosto and other sources confirm state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has opened an investigation into Gonzalez’s alleged looting of the organization’s funds – if any are even left.