The National Puerto Rican Day parade, one of the nation's most well-known Latino celebrations, is still scheduled for June 8th, but with new leadership, following a settlement announced Thursday by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The AG investigation found the parade's private fundraiser, Carlos Velasquez and his company GALOS kept $1 million of NPRDP's money, which came out of sponsor revenues and donations. GALOS also kept travel vouchers and funds meant for the parade scholarship program. Velasquez is barred from fundraising for the parade, will pay $100,000, and will not claim $1 million dollars he says is owed to him by the parade.
Three of the nonprofit's current board of directors, including the president, have stepped down, and ten new directors have been added. While none of them were involved in misappropriation of funds, "NYPRDP's board failed to implement basic financial controls," according to the Attorney General's statement.
Announcing the changes, Schneiderman said the nonprofit "has a responsibility to the Puerto Rican community, and to its donors, to ensure that the parade is a source of pride for all Puerto Ricans."
The parade has been a familiar site in New York City for over five decades - millions of onlookers lining up the streets to watch celebrities and politicians mix it up with "batuteras" (baton twirlers) and boricuas from the mainland and the island.
But it has not been without controversy. Last year community groups protested the marketing surrounding a sponsor, MillerCoors, for its design of a beer can which included a logo resembling the Big Apple and the Puerto Rican flag.