A New York State Assemblyman is calling on the state’s attorney general to investigate a non-profit group and its CEO over claims the group lied about homeless veterans being displaced from hotels for migrants, according to a local news outlet. The New York Post originally reported the group’s claims which were later alleged to be a hoax.
New York State Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson (D-Newburg) called on the state’s attorney general to investigate the Yerik Israel Tooney (YIT) Foundation and CEO Sharon Toney-Finch, the Mid Hudson News reported.
“The recent arrival of asylum seekers in the Town of Newburgh has caused disruption enough without the additional outrage generated by Toney-Finch’s lies,” Jacobson told the local newspaper.
Breitbart News reported on the claims by YIT’s CEO Toney-Finch in an article published by the New York Post. Toney-Finch claimed she received a call from a group of veterans being displaced from their hotels to make room for migrants being bused to the area from New York City.
Tone-Finch told the New York Post, “Our veterans have been placed in another hotel due to what’s going on with the immigrants.”
Toney-Finch’s claims went viral with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle expressing outrage that homeless veterans would be kicked out of hotels to make room for migrants.
Republican New York State Assemblyman Brian Maher told the Post, “Shining a light on this is important because we need to make sure these hotels know how important it is to respect the service of our veterans before they kick [them] out of hotels to make room.”
New York Democrat Congressman Pat Ryan, whose 18th congressional district covers the northern suburbs and exurbs of New York City, took to social media to condemn the “incompetence” of city officials in displacing the homeless veterans.
New York Republican Congressman Marc Molinaro also took to social media to denounce the “absolutely inexcusable” treatment of the homeless veterans, which he described as “the result of incompetence and lack of compassion.”
The Mid Hudson News stated that:
Last week, Toney-Finch recruited several homeless men from a shelter in Poughkeepsie and allegedly offered them food and money to pose as YIT-assisted veterans who were kicked out of their lodging by the newly arrived migrants.
Assemblyman Jacobson told the local news outlet that, according to reports, either Toney-Finch or an associate doctored credit card receipts to make it look like the hotel had accepted payment to house the YIT-sponsored veterans.
In an article earlier on Friday, the Mid Hudson News reported that a graphics expert examined a receipt reportedly given to State Assemblyman Maher showing an alleged payment by YIT to the hotel for $37,800 in payment for lodging for the veterans. The expert claims the receipt was altered and the hotel says it has no record of a payment from the credit card reportedly used to make the payment.
The Times Union reports that Assemblyman Maher said he was taken for a ride and told the newspaper that Toney-Finch’s claims were false. He said he was “devastated and disheartened” about the news of the alleged hoax.
The Times Union said the state’s attorney general and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the matter.
When Maher pushed Toney-Finch for further proof of the alleged credit card payment, she reportedly told the assemblyman “Maybe it’s not exactly how I said it was.”
Maher said he then approached the local news outlets to report the matter along with the AG’s office.
Toney-Finch reportedly told the Times Union that she denied that she recruited homeless people to pose as veterans.
Breitbart reached out to the YIT Foundation for comment on the matter. An immediate response was not available.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.