Ariel Rosado Foundation’s Credibility Takes Major Hit Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00

Donors to the Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation are keeping a close eye on the dispute between the Sanchez family and the Rosado family over the use of the organization’s funds. The Sanchez family and Rosado family are “co-owners” of the foundation which was launched in January of 2012. However, for over a year the two families have had disagreements about the use of the money by Dr. Alvaro Rosado, father of the late Ariel Rosado. The dispute was not made public until after the parties were forced to appear in court on Monday, July 14. Since that court hearing, both families have shared their sides of the story to the public.

Alvaro Rosado, President of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, was first to break the silence. After presenting scholarships to 30 students on Wednesday, July 16, Rosado explained to the press that the Sanchez directors have refused to sign cheques for over a year because they disagree with the way the funds are being used. He said, “Their idea of what the foundation was all about was not our idea… We may be able to discuss some things but what is certain is the funds must be used to provide scholarships and sporting opportunities.” Rosado’s statements gave the impression that the Sanchez family wants the funds to be used for things other than scholarships. Bruce Sanchez Sr. says he can not allow his name to be dragged in the mud like that and decided to bring his side of the story to the public.

Bruce Sanchez Sr. is the Vice President of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. He called a press conference at his bike shop on Thursday, July 17, to clear his name and share his side of the story. Sanchez says the dispute is not over a difference of opinion on what the money is being used for but on how the money is being used. The Foundation’s bank account was set up in such a way that one director who is a Rosado plus one director who is a Sanchez must sign cheques for it to be valid. Bruce Sanchez Jr. eventually became treasurer of the foundation and that was when the Sanchez family discovered that the Rosado family had been signing cheques without them. Bruce Sanchez Sr. presented five cheques made out to schools, book stores and Government that were issued without a signature form a Sanchez. He also presented two cheques; one made out to Alvaro Rosado and another to Shelly Bradley that was later released to Alvaro Rosado and placed in his account. Sanchez says his family doesn’t care about any explanation Rosado has to offer. He believes the account was set up to provide transparency and accountability; therefore, “I don’t want to be a part of it because I saw what he is doing and I know at some point we have to answer to what is going on here.”

Alvaro Rosado says he and his wife, Dorla, only decided to sign cheques after the Sanchez directors refused to do so. He says all the cheques were made out to schools and book stores; except for two. Those two are the one made out to him and the one made out to Shelly Bradley. Rosado says the one made out to Bradley was to reimburse him for money from his personal account used to purchase life jackets for recipients of sailing scholarships. He says the cheque made out to him was for a petty cash fund he manages to buy supplies for the work of the foundation. Bruce Sanchez Sr. says they only refused to sign cheques after they found out that the Rosado were already making out cheques without their signature. He says, “I don’t want to join him - that’s the reason why he is saying that [I am holding the Asociation hostage].”

Sanchez also pointed out that Rosado formed another organization named the Ariel Rosado Scholarship Fund so that he can direct donors to an account that he has more control of. Rosado says that account is managed by the Foundation’s Board and was established because the existing account was frozen due to the ongoing dispute. That bank account contains more than $44,000.

After mediation sessions between the Rosado family and the Sanchez family was unable to resolve the dispute, the Court ordered the appointment of overseers to the Foundation’s account. Neither family will be signatories to cheques from the Foundation’s bank account. It is a temporary solution for this family feud that may be far from settled.