After Sandy, Eric Schneiderman questions how relief aid was spent

Some donations meant to aid Hurricane Sandy victims in areas like Breezy Point, Queens, had not been spent five months after the storm. Credit: Allison Joyce/Getty Images
Some donations meant to aid Hurricane Sandy victims in areas like Breezy Point, Queens, had not been spent five months after the storm.
Credit: Allison Joyce/Getty Images

At least 40 percent of more than half a billion dollars raised for Sandy relief went unspent five months after the storm, according to a report released Wednesday by New York’s attorney general.

Some $238 million of more than $575 million raised through 89 charitable organizations had not been spent to help Sandy victims as of April, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.

At a press conference in Breezy Point, a Queens neighborhood devastated by the storm, Schneiderman said his office would ask at least 50 organizations for greater accounting of how Sandy relief contributions were spent.

“We have a responsibility to the people who donated their hard-earned money to help our community rebuild to make sure that the contributions they made were used as advertised,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

The report also questioned why the American Red Cross, which raised over $299 million, would establish cut-off dates for Sandy relief.

A third of the organizations reviewed in the report spent 50 percent or less of donations raised for Sandy.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


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