Dark Angels of a Bogus Catholic Museum

Felons, Wiseguys & Usual Suspects Back a Bizarre Charity

Structure Tone, the largest interior construction company in the city, pled guilty to bribery in the same case as Uribe, paid a $10 million fine and kept on giving to the museum in 1998 and 1999, It was singled out for special acknowledgement by the museum in its journal.

John Bowers, the head of the International Longshoremen's Association, has also been a major donor to the museum, giving $20,600 to it and serving as an honoree at its 1994 Hilton dinner, long before the organization moved to East Harlem. Federal prosecutors named Bowers and 43 other union officials and mob figures, including Gotti and Salerno, in a 1990 civil racketeering suit.

While the suit attempted to connect Bowers to the planned murder of a union rival, it did not name as a defendant the international union he ran, instead focusing on several locals of the union that Bowers also directly oversaw.

William Fugazy, former limo company magnate, helped found the museum and sits on its board.
photo: Fred W. McDarrah
William Fugazy, former limo company magnate, helped found the museum and sits on its board.

The government ultimately settled the suit, apparently unable to prove its charges against Bowers, leaving him to run all but one of the New York locals originally named in the case. Other major leaders in the union—which has long been tied to the mob—were forced to resign.

Many of the labor and construction patrons of the museum were drawn to it by its influential board chair Ed Malloy, the president of the statewide Building & Construction Trades Council, the largest private sector union in New York. Malloy has also been able to convince contractors like Forest Electric—whose vendex forms with the city indicate that it is currently under investigation—to contribute labor and materials to the renovation project.

Developers Donald Trump, Jack Rudin, and Jerry Speyer—all of whom are major employers of Malloy's members—became the three biggest donors to the museum. Last week's Voice made the case that the married, 66-year-old Malloy had an affair with the single, 49-year-old Cox for years—a charge he did not deny during an extended interview. The relationship was so widely known that many of the museum's benefactors may have given to it as a special favor to Malloy, aware of his alleged personal ties to Cox, who drew a $194,000 salary out of the museum in 1999, plus many personal perks. Cox came up with the idea of the museum in 1991 and spent years pursuing "angels," as she called them, who could raise the money to sustain her operation, discovering Malloy in 1994.

Malloy became so intertwined with the people around the museum that he is now one of four directors of Novex, a new concrete supply company run by Daniel Dowe, a museum trustee before Malloy, who once acted as its counsel. Novex's SEC filings indicate that the publicly traded company was already under investigation by the Securities & Exchange Commission in January 1998 when Malloy joined it, shortly after Dowe became CEO. Malloy was given stock options on 255,316 shares of the company, which is apparently still under SEC scrutiny. Noting that its concrete formulas were being sold to "construction managers, contractors," and others, Novex's disclosure statements said Malloy was brought on because of his "extensive level of contacts and industry experience," making this the first known suspect business relationship born at the museum.

Cox was so enthralled with her "angel" museum patrons, according to its longtime development director Christina Walker, that she decided to try to immortalize them. "She recently had a 10-foot portrait of the Last Supper painted by a Long Island artist," says Walker. "Everything was done except the faces of the apostles. She wanted the faces of the museum's top benefactors painted into the portrait, and then she wanted to put it in the museum. She wanted Trump and Malloy and Fugazy all depicted as apostles. I kept asking her who would be Judas."

Not only is Cox's museum tarred by this litany of tawdry associations, she and her mother and brothers got a $375,000 mortgage in 1999 for a new home in Mahwah, New Jersey, from PMCC, a small Long Island company, whose president was indicted by federal prosecutors. Cox rejected Voice requests for an interview, so it's unclear how she wound up using this firm.

With this gang at the helm, it's hardly surprising that the museum is awash in scandal. Last week's article detailed the galling use of museum money Cox has made to subsidize her personal life—everything from her cleaning lady to wigs and hairdressers. It also described a half-dozen alleged intimate relationships that Cox and associate director Stephanie Parker had with benefactors of the museum. Here's a sample of additional charges:

•  For at least two years, the museum has been soliciting small donors to give to the museum's Angel Wall of Honor. Among other benefits of the donation, each giver's one-page account of his/her own experience with angels would be recorded for posterity on a computer. "When you visit the museum," read one solicitation, "you will be able to view your name on the Angel Wall of Honor as well as look up your certificate, photograph, and angel story on the computer." Last year, around Christmas, the museum bought ads in Catholic newspapers for the wall. Not only is there no wall, there are no computers or Web sites.

« Previous Page
Next Page »
New York Concert Tickets