Disgraced CEO of homeless advocacy group is terminated, below investigation for intercourse and fraud crimes
MORRISANIA, the Bronx – The Bronx Attorney’s Office is currently investigating sexual assault and other criminal charges against a man who has built a reputation for helping homeless families with housing for nearly two decades.
Victor Rivera has now been ousted as President and CEO of the organization he founded, the Bronx Parents Housing Network. However, some other homeless proponents have stated that his case is a small part of a much larger systemic problem.
On the website of his organization, also known as BPHN, Rivera, 60, had a variety of videos and photos showing how he ran various charity activities. However, from Monday afternoon everything was gone.
It has all been replaced with just one thing: a statement from the BPHN Board of Directors, in part stating that “shocking allegations regarding … Rivera” have been recognized and that “the appointment of Mr. Rivera to BPHN is effective immediately was ended.”
At least 10 women have now said that Rivera either sexually assaulted them or gave them unwanted sexual attention. Their claims surfaced in an investigation by the New York Times last weekend.
Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted on Sunday: “The city has ordered BPHN to hire an independent investigator to fully investigate the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.”
However, some other proponents of housing issues and homelessness issues said that having the organization hire an independent investigator was not the best way.
Paulette Soltani is the Political Director of the Community Organizing Group VOCAL-NY.
“People close to Victor had heard these allegations about him,” Soltani said in an interview. “So it is very difficult to imagine that there is justice within the organization.”
The mayor also tweeted that “the city is hiring an outside auditing firm to audit nonprofit accommodation providers to ensure compliance.”
This move was apparently the result of evidence of fraud on the part of Rivera and possibly his organization and others uncovered in the New York Times investigation.
Financial reports were found showing that BPHN had 2012 sales of $ 1.1 million and Rivera had a salary of $ 67,000.
Just seven years later, BPHN had sales of $ 81 million, according to the Times investigation, and Rivera was earning more than $ 306,000. He also owned two houses, and his organization rented a new Mercedes with vanities for him.
There is a need for further investigation, Soltani said, but added that Rivera’s situation is a small part of a much bigger problem.
“The systemic problems that are cropping up in New York City are really what makes people take advantage of vulnerable people,” said Soltani. “So unless we find that homelessness and overdose and all these desperate situations are happening in our city and are widespread, we cannot stop people from taking advantage of them.”
Late Monday afternoon, the Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark’s office confirmed that it was “investigating” allegations made in the history of the New York Times.
PIX11 News was unable to reach Rivera for comment.