Cobbs Creek Foundation cites “error” regarding illegal campaign donation. Additional donations affiliated with foundation identified


A few hours after our March 2 post (and four days after Grid initially emailed asking about the donation), the Cobbs Creek Community Foundation’s communications manager Michael Rodriguez, of Ceisler Media & Issue Advocacy, responded to our inquiry:

“The donation to Councilmember Jones was made in error when it came from the CCF. Both the Foundation and the Councilmember were aware of the error prior to your email and had begun work on having the money returned.”

The donation was made on September 21, 2021, over 5 months ago.

Both Rodriguez and Councilmemeber Jones noted that there were two permit applications that were rejected—both for clearing trees on steep slopes—as evidence that Jones lacked control over the zoning process. Nonetheless, he was actively involved in the overall lease negotiations. Two other permits, for clearing all the land not on steep slopes, were approved.

The foundation applied for the approved permits in June, and paid an extra fee for accelerated review, which should take five business days. The permits were approved six months later at the end of December, an unusual delay in the process.

In the meantime, Grid has received additional tips connecting more September 2021 contributions to Jones’ campaign that are from donors directly connected to the Cobbs Creek Foundation:

Edward J. Hazzouri made a $1,000 donation on September 22. Ed Hazzouri & Associates is listed as “Government Affairs” on the foundation’s organizational structure, included as an exhibit under the lease agreement.

Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young LLP made a $2,500 donation on September 21. The firm is listed as “Legal Counsel” on the organizational structure.

Counting the illegal payment made by the Cobbs Creek Foundation, there are four donations totaling $7,000 received in an eight-day period from people and organizations with direct ties to the project.

Please send tips to news@gridphilly.com

Photography by Drew Dennis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

Did the Cobbs Creek Foundation make an illegal political contribution?

Next Story

Immigrant-owned meal delivery business offers refugees their first jobs in a new country

Latest from All Topics