Embattled Ailes Withdraws Donation for Senior Center

John Jordan | August 4, 2016

Roger Alies

CARMEL—The senior center planned for the former Butterfield Hospital site in Cold Spring is likely shelved. After a contentious meeting of the Putnam County Legislature, embattled Fox News founder and Cold Spring resident Roger Ailes took back his planned $500,000 donation for the project.

The Putnam County Legislature, after some debate, reportedly unanimously tabled a vote on Wednesday to authorize a charitable donation agreement between a non-profit established by Roger and Elizabeth (his wife) Ailes and Putnam County. The donation was to help fund the renovation project at the Lahey Pavilion on the Butterfield property. The legislature also was to approve a 6,000-square-foot lease agreement between the county and Butterfield Realty for the senior center, according to published reports.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, in a stement released to Real Estate In-Depth, stated, “Last Tuesday’s legislative meeting is another disappointing example of the ongoing adversarial political agenda that has obstructed the development of a new community center for our seniors in Philipstown. The outcome of these vicious protests has done nothing more than demonstrate a complete disregard for our seniors and offer unwarranted attacks on legislator, Barbara Scuccimarra, who has faithfully served her constituents for many years. Despite these challenges, we will continue to pursue this project for our seniors, because that’s who bears the brunt of this loss.”

The terms of the agreement between the Ailes’ non-profit and the county drew criticism from some residents, as well as from some media outlets, including the Journal News.

The Putnam County News and Recorder reported today that when sought for comment, “Mr. and Mrs. Ailes said the government approvals to make the senior center in Philipstown a reality took longer than World War II. They indicated several charities had reached out to them about the half million dollars. The family said they had hoped to help the senior citizens in Philipstown but it is clear for political reasons their funding is not welcome. Therefore they are withdrawing the money, cancelling the contribution agreement and assigning the money to another one of their charities who can put it to use immediately. They wish all seniors, even those who came out against them, the very best.”

The PCNR is owned and published by Elizabeth Ailes.

Ailes, the former chairman and CEO of Fox News, resigned from those posts on July 21 in the aftermath of former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson’s filing of a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes.

Photo Caption: Former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. Source: Wikipedia



John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth