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2010-11-18 / Other News

City Pulls Grants To Local Civic Youth Center

By Charles Rogers

Gardy Brazela (above) has received many awards for community service. With talk of the possibility that Canarsie’s oldest school, P.S. 114, could close soon, a local youth group that once held its programs there has lost its City Council grants because its director has been accused of trying to garner support for the group from the school’s previous principal and a custodian.

Five grants totaling $59,000 that had been tendered to the Friends United Block Association (FUBA) for its popular youth center at the embattled school were suddenly rescinded, according to a recent article in The New York Post. A report issued by the Department of Education found previous problems with the association of FUBA’s executive director, Gardy Brazela, and the school administration.

The report also stated Brazela did not control the children during the time the students were released from classes — 2:50 p.m. — and the time the program started at 3 p.m., leaving a ten-minute gap when the children were not supervised.

Anita Prashad, who was interim principal at the time, spoke to Brazela and, subsequently, Brazela allegedly offered her a duffel bag full of pocketbooks and offered the school custodian some cash, but both refused the offers, said The Post.

Brazela told the Canarsie Courier he was advised by his lawyer not to comment on the situation now, although he said he “wished” he could.

The lawyer, Howard Weiswasser, said he did not see that any criminality had taken place.

“Mr. Brazela is a good resource for the Canarsie community,” he said. “At this time I don’t see that he has committed any crime.”

Brazela founded his youth group as an off-shoot of the block association. The first meeting was in a small store on Glenwood Road, and was attended by about 25 youngsters. Since then, although the group’s headquarters changed a number of times, including its tenure at P.S. 114, it has been successful, with a steady increase in members.

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