2008-10-10 / Front Page

Chapey Opts Out Of State Job

By Howard Schwach

Democratic District Leader Geraldine M. Chapey has said thanks but no thanks to a $90,800 a year position as a commissioner with the New York State Workers' Compensation Board and will retain both her local political position and her non-profit transportation company, officials say.

The storefront office housing Chapey Trinity Services. Chapey has opted out of a position with the New York State Workers' Compensation Board to keep her political position and her non-profit that has taken in $771,000 in city contracts since 2000. The storefront office housing Chapey Trinity Services. Chapey has opted out of a position with the New York State Workers' Compensation Board to keep her political position and her non-profit that has taken in $771,000 in city contracts since 2000. Although Chapey was appointed to the coveted seven-year position by the governor and approved by the State Senate, she has opted out of the job, Morgan Hook, a spokesperson for Governor David Paterson, told The Wave on Wednesday morning.

"Geraldine Chapey withdrew her name from consideration last week, Hook said. "I am not aware of any of the reasons she did so, but I can confirm her withdrawal."

Brian Keegan, a spokesperson for the Workers' Compensation Board, declined to comment and referred The Wave to the Governor's office instead.

Michael Reich, the chairman of the Queens Democratic Party, however, said that Chapey dropped out because she "wants to do more for her community."

"The position [on the board] would have required her to travel all over the state and she did not want to leave her community behind," Reich said.

Had she accepted the appointment, she would not have been allowed to hold either her position as Democratic District Leader nor as the head of Chapey Trinity Services, a non-profit that runs a transportation van for senior citizens, officials say.

That senior service has earned Chapey's company more than $771,000 in contracts, since year 2000, with the city's Department for the Aging, official records show.

In addition, Chapey's non-profit has received more than $150,000 in member item money over that period of time from City Councilman Joseph Addabbo Jr., State Senator Malcolm Smith and Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer.

The Department for the Aging records, obtained under a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request by The Wave to the city agency, shows that a majority of the money, at least from 2006 and 2007, where Schedule C spending has to be detailed, went to salaries.

The city contracts, however, do not show to whom the salaries were paid and Chapey has so far declined to answer any questions put to her by The Wave.

Those Schedule C's, included in the contracts between the city agency and Chapey obtained under the FOIL request, show that Chapey Trinity Services paid $74,919 in salaries from July of 2006 to June of 2007 and another $79,947 from July of 2007 to June of 2008.

Chapey's non-profit runs one transportation van that takes seniors to meetings and to events outside of Rockaway.

She reportedly charged $7 per person during that period and The Wave has learned that she has been running trips to the casino at Yonkers Raceway, charging $15 per person for the trip.

Repeated calls and emails to Chapey asking her for comment on this story have gone unreturned.

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