RATES RATES   _______________________________________

Socialize

Veterans Park Conservancy Sham: Executive Director of VPC Earned $1.1 Million While Veterans Remain Homeless

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 10.29.08 AM

Executive Director Sue Young of the Veterans Park Conservancy, an outgrowth of the Brentwood Homeowners Association, confronts and then closes the gate on a 75 year old Veteran on the grounds of the park.

 

By Brian Hews

Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper has found through documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service that Susan C. “Sue” Young, founder and executive director of a controversial Brentwood non-profit homeowner’s organization that claims to be advocates “honoring our veterans and preserving their land” has received more than $1.1 million in salary while running the organization out of a posh office in Brentwood.

Young, the only employee of a group called the “Veteran’s Park Conservancy” (VPC), which is an outgrowth of the powerful Brentwood Homeowners Association, boasting some of the wealthiest and politically active people in the state, banked $1,135,000 from 2002 to 2013, all while homeless Veterans sleep in front and are forbidden to enter the very property the VPC is “restoring for Veterans.”

Young received raises during the “great depression” of $10,000 in 2006 (total $84,000), 7,000 in 2007 (total $88,000) $15,000  in 2008 (total $103,000), $4,000 in 2009 (total $107,000) and remained at that level until 2012 where she received a $5,000 increase (total $112,000) and a 2013 increase of $6,000 (total $118,000).

Young’s pay has increased from $60,000 in 2002 to $118,000 in 2013.

Click here to see Sue Young pay records.

HMG-CN also determined after reviewing the records that the organization has changed its name and mission statement three times over the past two decades.

Young previously oversaw the group called the “Veterans Garden Memorial Foundation.” That foundation morphed into the “Veteran’s Park Preserve,” which was eventually renamed the “Veteran’s Park Conservancy.”

Documents show that Young contracted with a development firm Netzel Steinhaus & Associates to craft a business plan and conduct a development study. That study recommended that having “Veterans” in the mission statement severely impacted the fundraising ability of the organization, and they recommended Young “add family and community,” which Young did later on.

“This does not surprise me,” said longtime Veteran’s right advocate Bob Rosebrock,  “Young and her sham tax-evading organizations are not here for the Veterans, they are here to work for the ‘Brentwood Elite.’ You have wealthy people donating money to a non-profit to keep Veterans off the land while taking a tax deduction, it’s despicable.”

Young has been a vocal and visible figure in and around the WLAVA for the past two decades.  She has been described by Rosebrock as “a woman who has been hell-bent” on stopping the property from “living up to its deeded legacy of providing a quiet haven for disabled and homeless Veterans.”

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 10.31.58 AM

A homeless Veteran sleeps in front of the Veterans Park and the fence that the VA and the Veterans Park Conservancy built. The gate is padlocked and Veterans are not allowed in while $1,000 per plate fundraisers are held inside.

It is the dirty little secret that everyone knows about in Brentwood.

Veterans have been abandoned literally on the side of the road along Sunset Boulevard in West Los Angeles fighting a war that has become heated and volatile led by Young and her VPC organization.

An investigation in June by HMG-CN revealed that cronyism and corruption filtered up to the highest levels in local, state, and even the federal government, all at the expense of mentally disabled and homeless Veterans in Los Angeles.

Powerful real estate developers, unresponsive government bureaucrats, and Sue Young’s VPC are strong allies against an army of outspoken critics, almost all of them former military Veterans, who line the streets around the property each weekend, donning protest signs and wearing trademark American military greens.

Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper spent countless hours researching records, emails, and other critical documents that outline how political leaders, led by Sue Young and WLAVA Director Donna Bieter, resorted to the implantation and execution of illegal lease agreements with commercial organizations on the Brentwood property.

It is a web of some of the most powerful people in the country who are catering to the Brentwood Elite and their representative Young, in a decades-old effort to keep Veterans “out of Brentwood,” in what one Veteran says is the “biggest land fraud scheme in U.S. history.”

Local and regional media, weekly and daily newspapers, along with LA County Supervisors have ignored the problem for years, not wanting to anger the Brentwood Elite and face the political wrath of the uber-wealthy who reside there.

Those involved include former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, California Senator Dianne Feinstein and her billionaire husband Richard Blum, Congressman Henry Waxman, LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, LA County Supervisorial Candidate Bobby Shriver, WLAVA Director Donna M. Beiter and the powerful Brentwood Veterans Park Conservancy run by Young.

Shinseki-and-VA

Sources tell HMG-CN that others are also ignoring the Veteran’s plight, including KFI’s John Kobylt of the John and Ken radio show and Bill Handel who is heard daily on the same station.

Handel’s spokesperson has denied any involvement with the property, even though Handel received several emails about the 388-acre property from Rosebrock and interacts daily with Kobylt.

The intricate case centers on the 388-acre property, which was deeded to the government in 1888 by John P. Jones and Arcadia B. de Baker to the State of California for the “to be used exclusively by homeless and disabled Veterans.”

Under the deed, anything done on the land should directly benefit Veterans and Veteran’s health; anything else is illegal and a “breach of fiduciary duty.”

But in 2001, WLAVA began leasing land to commercial organizations. These organizations put the donated land to uses that had absolutely nothing to do with providing health benefits to Veterans, a breach of fiduciary duty and an affront to Los Angeles Veterans.

The ACLU finally got wind of this and filed a lawsuit to fight the leases and remove the companies. District Judge John Otero agreed in 2013 that the land, under the 1888 deed, is to be used exclusively by Veterans, and adjudicated the leases in Federal Court as “unauthorized by law and therefore void.”

Otero then entered a Federal Judgment against the Defendants, now-former Secretary of the VA Shinseki and Beiter.

Shockingly, Shinseki and Bieter appealed the judgment using the full force and power of the United States and the Department of Justice. One ACLU lawyer called the appeal “morally and legally indefensible.”

Newly appointed VA Secretary Sloan Gibson is the de-facto party in the lawsuit now, and is allowing the appeal to continue.

And incredibly, some of the companies with leases on the property are riding the coattails of Shinseki/Gibson and fighting the ruling while the media, newspapers, and politicians sit on the sideline and ignore the saga as a matter of political and monetary convenience.

Brentwood Private School and UCLA are leading the charge to have the appeal overturned.

But that is the way it has been since 2001; politicians and the VPC act to defend the Brentwood Elite and Los Angeles media disregards the story for fear of monetary retribution.

Rosebrock told HMG-CN that Young orchestrated an unlawful rent-free “sharing agreement” with the WLAVA for a 16-acre, billion dollar parcel of land to build a public park “for the enjoyment of the entire community,” which she stresses on the group’s website is to “honor our veterans.”

In 2007 when then-VA Secretary R. James Nicholson placed a one-year termination clause on the VPC’s 16-acre park lease, Sen. Feinstein immediately wrote a letter on U.S. Senate letterhead on behalf of the VPC asking for the removal of the clause.

See Feinstein statement here.

Three months later, lightning speed for any similar government action, Nicholson removed the termination clause and signed the 30-year rent-free “sharing agreement” basically giving the VPC a $1 billion property free as a “public park.”

This free public park “gift” rendered the land unavailable for Veterans and VA development. The VPC and Young got what it wanted, a deal to keep Veterans out of Brentwood.

Feinstein, Waxman and Yaroslavsky turned a blind eye and allowed the agreement to be approved.

In 2007, a Los Angeles Times article described how Yaroslavsky stopped a development by Fox Entertainment on the same land. Yet the Supervisor let the VPC 16-acre public park deal go through.

Incredibly, the park is now padlocked and does not allow Veterans to enter while the WLAVA rents the land out for $1,000 per plate fundraisers. Most of the park is in complete disrepair, with the exception of the $1 million fence built by the VPC to enhance the entrance appeal into Brentwood.

Drivers around the park often see homeless Veterans sleeping outside its gates.

ScreenHunter_19-Jan.-27-10.55

The padlocked gate in front of the Veterans Park. A good part of the park is in disrepair, contradicting the mission of the VPC.

 

Open Air Amphitheater 

Fast forward to 2014. While the judgment is under appeal, Young and the VPC have arrogantly and defiantly ignored Judge Otero’s ruling and recently broke ground to begin construction of a multi-million dollar open-air public amphitheater on the land.

“Sue Young shamefully conned so many innocent people into donating to her ‘honoring our veterans’ scam that personally earned her over a million dollars while tens of thousands of war-injured and impoverished Veterans have been forced to live homeless and hungry in back-alley squalor,” Rosebrock told HMG-CN in an interview this past week.

“Now she is building a theater on our land. She made over $1 million at the expense of Veterans while stealing their land to benefit her fellow wealthy homeowners. It is reprehensible, immoral, and beyond comprehension.  Compounding the dishonor of this egregious activity is that it had been suppressed by the major media,” Rosebrock said.

“Hews Media has fearlessly exposed this scandal and now it’s time for the FBI and a Federal Grand Jury to fearlessly investigate Sue Young and her cronies, including an investigation by the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, “RICO”, for possible criminal violations,” Rosebrock concluded.

In a recent “Veterans Today” by Rees Lloyd titled “Shame on VA Bureaucrats and Shame on Congressman Waxman,” Rees pointed out the following on Young: “Veterans Park Conservancy, is manifestly not a Veterans organization but an organization of wealthy Brentwood residents whose principal agent [in advancing its own interests through arrogant manipulation] has been the politically-connected Sue Young — that is, politically connected to the Westside Machine.”

Several calls into Ms. Young for comment on the story went unreturned.

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

3 Responses to Veterans Park Conservancy Sham: Executive Director of VPC Earned $1.1 Million While Veterans Remain Homeless