Charges Fly As Community Tries To Re-Open Shuttered Field – QNS.com

Charges Fly As Community Tries To Re-Open Shuttered Field

During a tense Monday meeting of the College Point Sports Association, Tony Avella resigned as president of the College Point Sports Association.
Avella had called for the Sports Association to turn over its half-completed facility to the Parks Dept. with the rights of the Association’s members to the field’s use projected, or "grandfathered." When the Association’s members rejected his proposal by a four to two margin, Avella resigned.
It was also learned that the Office of Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and the Dept. of Investigation are currently probing charges that Association funds were improperly depleted as the result of investments in the stock market. Avella said he had turned documents over to Brown’s office last year on financial dealings that occurred before he assumed office.
Last Thursday, at a meeting called by Sabina Cardali, president of the College Point Civic Taxpayers Association, speakers called for a fiscal audit of the Sports Association’s funds as well as a revamping of the organization’s operations. "We have 1,400 kids waiting behind padlocked doors of a sports field, while nothing is being done to help them," Cardali charged.
Fred Mazzarello, president of the College Point Board of Trade, said that Avella was guilty of improper oversight over the Sports Association’s management. Alluding to the Queens DA’s investigation, he also charged that the Sports Association squandered $15,000 when it retained the services of a public relations consultant when the City shut down the sports complex.
Responding to the charges made by Cardali and Mazzarello, Avella said, "I’m not going to comment on the rantings and ravings of known crackpots."
Lou Bonaventura, who represents the softball players in the Sports Association, pointed out that Avella had always implemented the will of the group’s board of directors.
Sources, requesting to be kept anonymous, say that the battle between Avella and his critics was politically motivated.
Construction of the Association’s 22-acre sports facility had been halted for nearly 16 months by the Sanitation Dept. because about 15,000 tons of illegal fill had been dumped into the play area.
Within the past week, the City had given a tentative approval for resumption of cleaning up this fill in the $600,000 project. However, the City Dept. of Investigation was still continuing its probe and the City had not renewed the lease of the City-owned property.

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