Strange Letitia James/American Irish Historical Society Goings-On. Is She Planning To Move To 5th Avenue?
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On Sunday, the New York Post produced a remarkable piece of journalism: An Irish society, an unpaid loan and the hypocrisy of Letitia James [by Miranda Devine, March 17, 2024].

In essence, the venerable American Irish Historical Society, which owns and is headquartered at the beautiful 991 Fifth Avenue mansion in New York, has fallen on hard times. Fundraising collapsed some five years ago and a dispute over selling the building enabled the regulator, New York Attorney General Letitia James, to take control in 2022 and appoint a new Board.

Insensitively, although the purpose of the AIHS is stated as

To encourage and promote historical research relating to Americans in the United States of Irish descent.

only half the new Board appear to be of Irish extraction.

After this, things have become very strange.

In 2017, a then Board member, James Doyle, had advanced $3 million to the Society, structured as a mortgage. Payments had been long in default when the then management moved to sell the mansion in early 2021.

Letitia James blocked the sale. Doyle agreed to take no action until June 2023.

But by August 2023, he still hadn’t been repaid, so he initiated foreclosure proceedings—and promptly was blocked by the AG, who claimed the mortgage was invalid because he was a board member.

Why this should be so is not obvious. The latest available (why?) 990, that for December 31, 2021, clearly reports a $3 million loan from Board member Doyle.

There is a dispute about whether the building was overvalued in 2017, when Mr. Doyle advanced the money. His attorney says:

This organization fraudulently inflated the value of their building to induce my client into giving them a mortgage which Tish James is now trying to help these fraudsters avoid having to repay...

James has come down on the side of the society against its lender, Doyle. And yet, in her signature case of People v. Trump, she took the opposite position, holding that “where an organization inflates the value of a property to obtain a loan, that is fraud, even where the lender was aware of the actual value and was paid in full...” 


Doyle’s lawyer, Tim Parlatore, alleges that James’ enthusiastic involvement in the Doyle case may be driven by “connections with the Defendant.”

He has

…requested a subpoena be issued against James requiring her to produce a raft of documents, including anything relating to campaign events hosted at the townhouse or any contributions to her political campaigns from the society or any of its members or directors. 

I do not understand the post–James takeover developments. The building is obviously worth a multiple of the loan. Surely some extrication financing could have been devised? Moreover, the Society remains moribund.

Perhaps the NYAG knows Mr. Doyle is a Trump supporter?

Everyone should seriously consider the suspicions raised in Does James/Engoron Gang Plan To Loot Trump’s Companies The Way Leftist Hero Judge Bazelon Plundered Japanese-Americans?

Living on Fifth Avenue is nice.

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