Settlement Addresses Allegations of Misconduct by The Kings County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children
LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Attorney General Eliot Spitzer today announced a court order and agreement with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children of the County of Kings, Inc., a private, not-for-profit entity, under which the Society agreed to dissolve.
Last May, Spitzer’s office filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court, New York County seeking dissolution of the Society after an investigation revealed that the Society, which is not affiliated with the State of New York or any police agency, fraudulently misrepresented itself as a police entity and its members as police officers and New York State officials. Contrary to the Society’s stated mission to prevent cruelty to children and enforce child protection laws, the lawsuit alleged that the Society did not engage in any legitimate child protective work, yet nevertheless solicited contributions as if it did and engaged in egregious misconduct that caused the public to perceive it as a police entity and subdivision of the State.
“The actions of this organization weakened the authority of legitimate police departments and government agencies, and undermined the integrity of the entire non-profit sector,” Spitzer said.
An investigation by the Office of the Attorney General found that the Society and its former head, Burton Borkan, distributed badges, identification cards, and parking placards to its members that misused the State of New York seal and name. The badges issued by the Society also closely resembled New York City Police Department badges. As part of the settlement, Borkan has agreed not to serve as an officer or a director of any society for the prevention of cruelty to children within the State of New York.
The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Stacy P. Aronowitz under the supervision of Carrie H. Cohen, Chief of the Public Integrity Unit, with the assistance of Special Litigation Counsel Robert Pigott of the Charities Bureau, and was investigated by Investigator Lawrence McDonald of the Investigations Bureau.