The Peter Young Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation that works with recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. The Foundation also runs shelters and half-way houses. The foundation is run by Father Young, a Roman Catholic Priest and former Chaplain at Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility. By all accounts, the Foundation does excellent work and is responsible for helping many people.
Vesta Community Housing Development Board, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation. 820 River Street, Inc. is another not-for-profit. Although separate legal entities, both Vesta and 820 River Street fall under the Peter Young Foundation umbrella, sharing many of the same board members.
Peter Young, via Vesta and 820 River Street own many properties throughout the state, including:
3215 Sixth Avenue, Troy
820 River Street, Troy
814 River Street, Troy
304-306 Second Avenue, Troy
834-836 River Street, Troy
113-113 Second Street, Troy
Father Young, George Schindler and Kevin Luibrand are the Board of Directors for Vesta. Schindler, Young and Luibrand are also on the Board of 820 River Street, Inc. Also, on the 820 River Street Board is Maureen Dumas, a retired NYS Senate employee. George Schindler is a former Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of Troy under Mayor Tutunjian. Mr. Luibrand is an attorney best known for making life miserable (rightly so) for the City of Schenectady Police Department. So far so good. We are not suggesting any wrong doing by any of those previously named. We have no reason to suspect them of anything other than being fine, upstanding citizens who are involved with a well-run, above board Foundation that does excellent work.
Recently, Vesta or 820 River Street purchased property on Douw Street. We do not know why the property was purchased but can surmise that it will in some way become part of Father Young's rehab empire.
The property on Douw was purchased for a price not in accordance with true property values. This, of course, is not unusual. Businesses and Foundations will purchase property for far more than the going rate because that is the property they want for a certain project.
Remember Robert Bruno? He's Senator Joe's baby brother. Robert resigned his position at the State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (he directed Road to Recovery) back in October of 2004. Bruno stepped down due to unusual (or perhaps creative) financial dealings with the programs he oversaw.
According to a July 14, 2005 Times Union article (Elizabeth Benjamin), Bruno hired Donald Skaarup, a neighbor, for a $75,000. Bruno also tried to get the state to spend $240,000 to buy a closed residential treatment center in Granville, New York. The treatment center was owned by....Donald Skaarup. Skaarup's property was later purchased by...Vesta.*
According to the Empire News Journal, Donald Skaarup and Thomas Plummer were employed by Road to Recovery (they were also Bruno's Queensbury neighbors). Skaarup and Plummer were consultants hired under a contract with 820 River Street Inc.**
What we want to know is:
Who owned the the properties listed above prior to their purchase by Vesta or 820?
Who owned the Douw Street properties prior to their purchase by Vesta or 820?
Were the previous owners (the owners previous to Father Young's involvement) employed by the State or City or County?
If the previous owners were employed by the State, County or City, did they purchase the property within a 2 or 3 year period before those properties were purchased by Vesta?
If so, this needs to be investigated.
*Robert Bruno's shenanigans were not enough to keep him off the public payroll. In July of 2005 he was hired as a budget analyst for the Assembly Republicans. We guess no bad deed goes unrewarded around here
**According to their website, Donald Skaarup is now running Altamont House Rehab for 820 River Street Inc.