New York governor Andrew M. Cuomo has created a special task force to investigate executive compensation at nonprofits that receive taxpayer subsidies from the state, the New York Times reports.
Last week, the Times published an article detailing the compensation packages of two brothers, Philip and Joel Levy, who ran a Medicaid-financed nonprofit that provides services to the developmentally disabled. At the peak of their earnings, the brothers each received close to $1 million in salary while dipping into the organization's coffers to cover a variety of personal expenses, including their children's college costs and more than $50,000 that Philip Levy charged the company for his daughter's living expenses one year, money that went toward her purchase of a co-op apartment.
New York Council on Nonprofits CEO Doug Sauer told the Times that while he supported efforts to prevent "charitable resources [from being] used for the private and personal gain of executives," such cases were rare and already subject to existing Internal Revenue Service guidelines. Sauer suggested that the task force should also consider looking more closely at the compensation of executives at for-profit companies that receive state contracts.
"Executives at these not-for-profits should be using the taxpayer dollars they receive to help New Yorkers, not to line their own pockets," said Cuomo in the announcement. "There is a whole range of compensation levels and extremes that have existed for too long and must be reviewed."