LETTER: NY Post Broadside on Tish James a 'Hatchet Job'

Dear Editor,

I write this letter to the Irish Echo because of a lack of courtesy by the NY Post to publish my response to their hatchet job of Attorney General, Tish James. It is important that the record be corrected for posterity. In particular, for the American/Irish population to know who the true champions were and are for saving the American Irish Historical Society in the fight for its survival. Below is the original letter to the editor at the NYPost:

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As a proud Irish-American who dedicated my life to public service, it made my blood boil to read the recent hatchet job on Attorney General Tish James’s successful rescue of the American Irish Historical Society (“An Irish society, an unpaid loan, and the hypocrisy of Letitia James,” Mar. 17).

Let me be perfectly clear: Tish James saved the AIHS from theft and ruin. Without her, a more than a century-old institution would have been stripped for parts and sold to the highest bidder. Its home for more than eighty years would have been foreclosed on or hawked to developers. Tish James is the primary reason that tragedy was averted.  

Thanks to AG James’s revitalization and renewal plan, it is a new day at AIHS: a new permanent board has been selected and a supremely qualified executive director is promising “full transparency.” After some dark days, the future of this community treasure is bright once again.

But AG James did not act alone. Following the efforts of brave whistle-blowers Brian McCabe and Sophie Colgan, more than 41,000 people signed a petition begging her office to step in. The Government of Ireland fully supported the Attorney General’s plan to save the AIHS and has even helped fund the transition. This is what it looks like when an elected official listens to her constituents and steps up to do the right thing.

And, just to be clear, the comparison to her equally successful efforts to hold the Trump Organization accountable for fraudulent business practices is as spurious as it is sour grapes. One of the AG’s jobs is to crack down on fraudulent businesses. She did that by securing $450 plus million in penalties, multi-year leadership bars, and a monitorship of the Trump Organization. Another is to save reputable charities from gross mismanagement. She did that too by orchestrating a plan that would oust the old board and bring in a new one while working cooperatively to develop a financial plan to save AIHS.

In each instance, Tish James did her job commendably and by the letter of the law.

Happy belated Saint Patrick’s Day, Madam Attorney General, thank you for all that you do.

Former Congressman Joe Crowley