Since City Limits last reported on questionable expenditures made by directors of Praxis Housing Initiatives, a nonprofit housing and social services organization for people with AIDS [April 2003], the situation has heated up. First, the office of State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer upped its probe to a full-fledged investigation, issuing subpoenas and calling in former Praxis employees to discuss what they witnessed while working at the organization.
At the same time, the city Department of Investigation forwarded its work to the U.S. Attorney’s office, which oversees criminal inquiries. The case has been assigned to a federal prosecutor, who will work on it with the attorney general.
A spokesperson for Praxis says the group has retained counsel to conduct its own independent financial audit, and will not comment on anything until that is complete. Executive Director Gordon Duggins did, however, make an announcement to his staff in mid-March, according to sources. By late June, he told them, he plans to step down from the post he has held since he helped found the group in 1996.