Aug 21, 2006

NY Post Reports: Morshed Alam's 'No-Show' Nonprofit

August 21, 2006 -- A nonprofit run by an Assembly candidate out of his Queens home cancelled its city contract for immigration and youth services after officials paid a surprise visit and found "no discernable attendance," The Post has learned.

The American Bangladesh Friendship Association notified the city's Department of Youth and Community Development that it had decided on Jan. 25 to halt a $16,000 contract begun on July 1, 2005, for immigration referral and youth services.

Two days earlier, at 7 p.m., two DYCD officials made an unannounced visit to the program, located in the basement of a private house at 169-08 Grand Central Parkway.

"The visit noted no discernable attendance and/or registration records," Timothy Johnson, DYCD's director of discretionary contracts, wrote in a Feb. 1 memo.

The executive director of American Bangladesh Friendship Association at the time was Morshed Alam, who is running for the Assembly seat vacated by Brian McLaughlin, the labor leader under investigation for allegedly helping rig a city electrical contract.

Alam told The Post that his group has since disbanded because "a lot of people have moved from the neighborhood" and attendance at its programs had diminished.

The city paid the organization $10,000 of the $16,000 due on the contract - including $4,200 in rent to Alam and his wife, the property owners, between July 1, 2005 and Jan. 31, 2006.

That's not allowed.

"That was a misunderstanding," said Alam. "We didn't realize it was a conflict. That was a place we were using for a long, long time. When we had the contract, they didn't say anything."

Last week, Alam said, DYCD officials notified him he would have to return the rent payments.

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