June 29 (Reuters) - The New York Attorney General's office
has sued Kelli Conlin, former president of NARAL Pro-Choice New
York, accusing her of using more than $250,000 in charitable
funds to finance a lavish lifestyle.
The lawsuit was filed a year after Conlin pleaded guilty to
Conlin spent some $50,000 at the likes of Bergdorf Goodman
and Barneys New York, $17,000 on a five-bedroom Hamptons rental
and over $70,000 in car services, according to the lawsuit filed
in New York State Supreme Court on Thursday.
She also used charity money to pay more than $12,000 of
her nanny's salary and spent more than $50,000 on personal
meals, including more than 120 meals from a sushi restaurant
near her Brooklyn home, the lawsuit said.
Conlin was president of NARAL Pro-Choice New York and its
charitable foundation for 19 years. She pleaded guilty in June
2011 to falsifying business records, paid restitution of $75,000
and got a conditional discharge.
The New York Attorney General's probe "uncovered substantial
additional wrongdoing and seeks to hold Conlin fully accountable
for her misconduct," New York Attorney General Eric
Schneiderman's office said in a press release.
Robert Anello, who represented Conlin in the criminal case,
said it appeared "patently unfair and an abuse of the attorney
general's powers to revisit the same ground thoroughly examined
by the district attorney's office." He added that he had not
seen the civil suit.
Conlin, who earned $380,000 in 2010, stepped down in January
The lawsuit accuses Conlin of breach of fiduciary duties. It
seeks to hold her liable for waste and misappropriation of the
foundation's charitable assets.
Joan Vollero, a spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney
Cyrus Vance Jr, who prosecuted the criminal case, said Vance was
"pleased" the attorney general was seeking the return of
additional funds using its civil powers.
NARAL said in a statement that it applauded the New York
Attorney General office's decision to bring the case. It said
that it had implemented reforms and financial controls after
Schneiderman recused himself from the case because his now
deceased father was involved with the organization, according to
The case is People of the State of New York v. Kelli Conlin,
New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 45107/2012.
For the NY State Office of the Attorney General: David
For Conlin: Not immediately available.
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