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Nonprofits surprised at Suffolk Productions' charges

Some officials of the 10 area nonprofits that were clients of Suffolk Productions expressed surprise Wednesday that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo accused the Copiague company of using misleading tactics to raise money.

Ray Griffin, president of the Suffolk County Detectives Association, said the union had been using Suffolk Productions for over 20 years to sell ad space to businesses in two journals the union publishes.

But in light of Cuomo's probe, Griffin said the union canceled the contract with Suffolk Productions last week.

"They're hired to sell ads, not represent themselves as detectives," Griffin said. "If we wanted to use that, we'd use detectives. It was very disturbing to hear that."

Others said they weren't shocked.

Five years ago, United Way of Long Island's then-new director Patrick Foye, pulled the plug on the contract with Suffolk Productions "for financial and reputational reasons," he said Wednesday night. The fundraiser had been running "United Way Nights" at Riverhead Raceway.

"Cuomo is right," said Foye, now an unpaid adviser to Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano.

John Petrowski, treasurer of the Police Athletic Team of Suffolk County Inc. of West Islip, which is not affiliated with the Suffolk Police Athletic League, said his organization will have to investigate further.

The team includes 100 to 120 active and retired police officers who compete in contests in Albany, Nevada and Florida, Petrowski said. The $25,000 or so collected by Suffolk Productions' telemarketers has paid for travel expenses.

"This gives me concern," said Petrowski, a retired officer.

With Elizabeth Moore

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