A Mysterious Letter: Is It Calamity for Haynes and RIOC?

A Mysterious Letter: Is It Calamity for Haynes and RIOC?

A mysterious letter, we learned, arrived at the office of a high-ranking local official, late last week. At roughly 15 pages, it laid out claims of misconduct within RIOC over multiple years. Its several anonymous authors said they were RIOC employees turned public whistleblowers.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

What We Know About the Mysterious Letter

One of the parking spots on Roosevelt Island reserved for President/CEO Haynes.

The mysterious letter, which the official receiving it found credible, focused on President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes time at RIOC. Although The Daily has not yet seen the letter, we are trying to obtain a copy. Therefore, we cannot disclose any details other than that the charges are not inconsistent with problems previously published here.

We have, however, talked directly with a contact who has seen the mysterious letter. Our contact told us that the official receiving it considered the charges serious enough that the missive was immediately packed up and sent off to the state’s Inspector General, Lucy Lang.

There it joins at least four other complaints submitted by The Daily. While we consider each of our complaints substantial, the mysterious letter is more serious because it contains direct firsthand accounts of alleged misconduct. We do not know, at this point, if any documents were included.

Much like anonymous informants providing evidence against Haynes to The Daily, the current authors fear retaliation but are concerned enough that they have reached out to third parties with evidence.

The Question of RIOC’s Board

One of the responsibilities of a board member for a New York State Public Benefit Corporation is ensuring that the corporation complies with all state and federal laws. Board members are also responsible for overseeing the financial health of the company, making sure that it is generating enough revenue to cover its expenses.

Additionally, board members must establish and maintain positive relationships with the corporation’s stakeholders. Finally, board members must ensure that the corporation is working towards its mission and goals.

Considering the above, complaints about RIOC’s board have been many and, lately, increasing. If the charges against RIOC and Haynes prove serious as well as true, this board should be thrown out along with any executives involved.

Not long ago, the same local board members bumbled along through the Leslie Torres administration. An IG investigation forced Torres along with two others out of office. One of them, Fernando Martinez, a Vice President pleaded guilty to involvement in a kickback scheme and more. Prison time resulted along with heavy financial penalties.

This is a breaking story, and we will update as new information comes in.

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