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"We seem to be faced with many ghosts from the past."
- Joseph Selenski, ComLinks board president

Wracked by controversy, ComLinks intends to close

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A once powerful social services agency in the North Country is now headed towards closing its doors. ComLinks, based in Malone, says attempts to survive years of theft and mismanagement appear to have failed.

As recently as three weeks ago, Comlinks was talking with local lawmakers and making plans to start over as a grassroots not-for-profit. But board president Joe Selenski says it turns out there's just too much to overcome.

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Reported by

David Sommerstein
Reporter/ Producer

“We seem to be faced with many ghosts from the past, and that’s pretty much determining where we’re at right now”, Selenski says. Those ghosts include reimbursements for misused funds. New York’s weatherization program, for example, wants more than $100,000 back from 2008, and Selenski says those issues, combined with not getting some promised funding on time, “has just left us with very shallow pockets.”

Selenski says Comlinks shutting its doors is now “the primary option”. He says that could happen by the beginning of 2013. Selenski says Comlinks is committed to paying all its debts before going out of business, including $40,000 to local contractors. And he says Comlinks is still looking for agencies to take over its weatherization and gleaning programs.

Former Comlinks director Nancy Reich pleaded guilty to grand larceny last year for misdeeds that set the agency’s nosedive in motion. Reich admitted using the agency credit card to buy herself more than $100,000 dollars in items, including wine, flowers, and golf club memberships.

 

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