Yesterday Michelle Malkin and Brian Maloney reopened the Air America story in a massive way, showing that contrary to previous public statements Al Franken and the current network owners knew of the $875,000 in suspicious loans Air America received from the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club. Those loans are under investigation by New York officials since the majority of Gloria Wise’s operations were financed by state and federal grants.
The New York Post reports today that the network owners have agreed to repay the entire $875,000 the network received from the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club into an escrow account (something we recommended from the beginning), no doubt a direct effect of Malkin’s and Maloney’s reporting.
I read though the secret agreement Malkin linked to and came to a different conclusion about he Wise loans. While it’s instructive that the loans are listed, the agreement doesn’t spell out an obligation to the new owners of the network.
In an update to a Sept. 7th New York Sun article, they issued this important correction:
A settlement agreement signed by Al Franken, Evan Montvel Cohen, and other parties acknowledged that the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club had claims totaling $875,000 against the Air America radio network, but did not commit any party to the payment of those claims.
I read through the 60+ page confidential agreement and I have to say that was my impression as well. Piquant LLC (the current owners) agreed to purchase the assets of Air America (as we reported), specifically to avoid the liabilities.
Today Michelle updates the story with a quote from New Yorks Department of Investigation. Air America’s repayment of the loans is less straight forward than they wanted the press to believe it was.