The award-winning leader of a Bronx charity has been accused by state officials of looting the nonprofit group of thousands of dollars.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says an audit by his office found that Earnestine Russell had the Baychester Youth Council pay personal expenses, including a $3,500 home entertainment system, nearly $5,000 in rent and hotel bills, and more than $30,000 in payments to relatives.
The New York Post reports that auditors found $250,000 in "inappropriate or undocumented" expenses.
Russell was highly regarded for her work with children. In 2004, automaker Volvo recognized her work for children with a "Volvo for Life Award," and awarded her a new car every three years for the rest of her life.
Russell told The Post she couldn't talk about the audit.