A six-person board of directors controls all grant-making decisions. Michael Drezin, a former administrator of the fund who unsuccessfully sued it for mismanagement in 2009, said board members were chosen because of their connections to elected officials.
Serafin Mariel, the fund’s chairman, has donated to the candidacies of the former Bronx borough president Adolfo Carrión Jr., campaign finance records show. Ted Jefferson, also on the board, was chairman of Mr. Carrión’s transition team when he assumed the borough presidency in 2001.
Another board member, Roberto Crespo, has been on and off community boards in the South Bronx for years. In 1997, he was forced to resign from Community Board 1 for lying about a proposal to build a group home for mentally ill substance abusers in the district.
Mr. Drezin himself worked as an aide to Maria del Carmen Arroyo, a former city councilwoman who, along with Mr. Carrión and two other elected officials, helped broker the community benefits agreement that established the fund.
Ms. Arroyo said she did not remember how the board was selected. When asked about some of the board members’ political ties, she said: “This is a…