file photo William Thomas
CAREN CHESLER | JUNE 14, 2017
Some half-dozen people linked to NJSPCA have been interviewed or will soon be by State Commission of Investigation
After failing to file state and federal financial statements for years, a misstep that resulted in the loss of its tax-exempt status, the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is the subject of a State Commission of Investigation probe for the second time in less than 20 years.
While the SCI would not confirm or deny any investigative activity, at least half-a-dozen people connected with the NJSCPA say they have already been interviewed or are about to be, as part of the probe. Earlier this spring, NJ Spotlight published a look at the controversial organization, detailing its financial problems and its lack of oversight.
The NJSPCA, a private organization with a 100-plus-year-old charter from the state, has been the focus of controversy for almost two decades. Charged with protecting animals, the group’s senior members are given the power of arrest, carry guns, and yet have little state oversight. The steady drumbeat of criticism reached a crescendo late last year when it was discovered that the organization had lost its tax-exempt status and yet continued to accept public donations without informing donors that their contributions were no longer tax-deductible.