AG: Ex National Arts Club president unlawfully controlled apartments, office spaces

September 21, 2012 12:30PM

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is taking legal action against Aldon James, the former president of the National Arts Club, a century-old art charity based at 15 Gramercy Park South.

The suit follows an 18-month investigation by the Attorney General into allegations that James abused his authority as president of the organization for substantial personal benefits. James allegedly used his position to control more than a dozen apartments, offices and other rentable club spaces. He is also accused of having used club funds on personal shopping sprees.

His alleged mismanagement is said to have cost the club of at least $1.5 million dollars in rental income in the last six years.

“For years, Mr. James took advantage of his role as the leader of the National Arts Club to deprive the organization of valuable assets that should have been used to advance its charitable mission. The time has come for real accountability,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

James, who served as club president from 1986 until 2011, was not reachable for comment but previously called the allegations “false and totally disingenuous.” – Katherine Clarke