CRC’s CEO Anthony Hall Finally Sets The Record Straight!

Anthony Hall is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Community Resource Collaborative (CRC) and a community activist. Hall says he is most proud of the framework he created for prevention and intervention to address the quality of life to reduce gun violence. Unfortunately, his advocacy work and passion for the community have all come into question. Those questions center around the news of an investigation of his organization for mismanagement of funds. Hall sat down with Shanique Byrd to discuss what actually happened behind the scenes of CRC.

Hall says his world shattered when he discovered an employee mismanaged funds. However, Hall says he was more shocked by the reactions of his community. 

When news broke of the CRC scandal, critics like Monroe County Legislator Rachel Barnhart swiftly went on social media to call Hall out. Hall said that he had worked with Barnhart in the past and that her comments surprised him. “Barnhart had reached out to me on several occasions asking me for assistance and said that I was a leader that this community needs,” Hall revealed. 

Hall’s checkered past of drug dealing and incarceration has made it easy to look at him through a judgmental lens. But, Hall says he has worked hard to become a role model for his children, his nephew — with whom he has custody, and the community. 

After his incarceration, Hall was an Intervention Specialist with the City of Rochester for nearly ten years. He said he was laid off in 2019. However, rumors of his separation from the city in 2019 differ from his detractors. They say he was fired and placed on the “Do Not Hire” list. Hall claimed those allegations were false and provided proof of a letter confirming his reason for the separation. 

In February of 2022, the administration of Mayor Malik Evans hired Hall as the Director of Pathways to Peace. By the Spring of 2023, Hall became frustrated with leadership and the limitations placed on the organization. Hall stated his decision to resign had little to do with his current lawsuit against the city. The lawsuit involves his wrongful arrest for Obstruction of Governmental Administration in June 2022. Although the charge was dismissed, Hall is still negotiating a settlement.

Hall says his decision to leave had more to do with the restrictions placed on him. He said the city created barriers that placed obstacles that often got in the way of what he envisioned for the organization. “The city lacked the leadership necessary to make real changes,” Hall asserted. Hall verified that he created a successful framework by increasing funds from $300,000 to $1,800,000, and homicides decreased during his time with Pathways to Peace. Hall says his leadership helped increase the number of employees. “I was able to hire five full-time workers, ten part-time workers, and nine school-based workers. That was something that had never been done before,” Hall affirmed. 

Hall said he left the city in June of 2023. He planned to continue his “book bag” giveaways and other community-related work. Then he reconnected with Tina Paradiso, Founder and former CEO of CRC. Hall said his first meeting with Paradiso was in 2020 or 2021 during the pandemic. At that time, he was searching for assistance with relocating a family of five due to gun violence. Imprintable Solutions(an embroidery shop) owned by Paradiso was known for the relocation of families due to gun violence. “She would supply funding to her non-profit organization with help from her profitable business,” Hall empathized, “and she was able to get funding that other grassroots organizations had a hard time receiving.” 

In the past, Paradiso had been outspoken about her service to the community and the impact her business had made. She claimed profits helped to fund the support and services available to the youth through an internship program. According to a report, Imprintable Solutions provided interns with food to eat or to take home, a washer, dryer, and shower, plus funds for Uber, Lyft, and daycare. Hall stated that they connected through their dedication to helping the community.

When Paradiso asked Hall to join the organization as CEO of CRC in August 2023, Hall believed it was “a match made in heaven.” Paradiso agreed to pay Hall $80,000/year and demote herself to the unpaid position of Chief Operating Officer(COO). Hall stated Paradiso planned to receive payment through her work for the Neighborhood Collaborative Project (NCP). According to Hall, Paradiso would receive 5% of the $7,000,000 American Rescue Plan Act (ARAP) grant over five years. The calculation is a net salary of about $70,000 per year. Paradiso’s duties included paying organizations, creating spreadsheets, and submitting a master bill to the county for reimbursement. 

Paradiso’s modest income did deter her from acquiring a reported $95,210 Jeep Grand Wagoneer on March 30, 2023. The timing of the second Jeep Grand Wagoneer remains unclear. However, Hall clarified that these vehicles were not purchased using grant money; instead, Paradiso had used her funds. He emphasized that the Jeeps were utilized for transporting families and served as versatile means of transportation.

When questioned about the purchase of 1274-1278 Dewey Ave, Hall disclosed that he found out about it on the day Paradiso finalized the transaction. According to Hall, Paradiso had informed him at their office that a mysterious benefactor had footed the bill for the building and wanted to remain anonymous. Hall said he found nothing amiss because Paradiso had never exhibited suspicious behavior. He claimed that initially, the plan was for the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence to make the purchase and then be reimbursed by the state. However, the organization did not have the necessary funds. Hall explained that the reimbursement process from the state was lengthy. Ultimately, Hall revealed that Paradiso had misled him about the anonymous donor and that the building was purchased using CRC funds. At the time, Hall did not have access to banking records.

Just months later, CRC would unravel when it failed to fulfill its payment obligations to NCP partners. Without delay, Hall says he reached out to Paradiso for answers. In a series of unreleased message exchanges allegedly between Hall and Paradiso, Hall inquired about the blank checks. “Where is the blank checks at”, Paradiso replied with two separate messages, “Yes”,  and “Give me a couple minutes please”. Hall responded, “You got them asking me all these questions and I don’t know anything” Paradiso replied, “Because we are moving to CNB and because I am doing cashiers checks I didn’t order more. The last els checks I have are for vanguard program.” Hall responded, “Tina why would you wait till today to handle this” The dialogue between the colleagues seemed to oscillate as they tried to devise a plan to fulfill the overdue payment. “I said that we need to talk to rectify the situation because it is too much at stake. I requested all banking and payroll information because Tina was deflecting what took place the day before. I was highly upset that checks were not done as promised to the NCP,” Hall confirmed.

Hall was in a tough spot when another organization advised him that their check had bounced. By February 5, Hall said that he called an emergency meeting. “At this meeting, Tina revealed that she had mismanaged NCP funds. I took immediate action notifying the NCP group on February 6 and then firing Tina. I had a meeting with the county to let them know what happened and what my next steps were,” Hall stated. 

A forensic review by the EFPR Group determined that CRC had received $1,067,971.67 in reimbursement from the county for distribution to NCP partners. Out of this amount, $750,514.65 was reimbursed to the partners, leaving a balance due of $243,907.02. 

The review also revealed that CRC had mixed various funding sources in the same bank account, including money from the ARPA grant, funds from other grants totaling nearly $1 million, loans, and lines of credit. The report stated CRC did not track the funds’ origins and overpaid itself $23,779 in administrative fees.

“I had to lay off 17 employees. Plus, hundreds of families and individuals have been impacted by this,” Hall noted. Hall says he plans to dissolve the organization once litigation is resolved. Although Hall is unsure of his future, he wants his community to know the truth. “I’m not hiding, I’m still out here,” He declared. He says he is determined to continue fighting for his community and giving back to those in need. 

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3 Responses

  1. Thank god 🙏for your chance to tell your truth!! So many times people only hear one side of what the real truth is and begin to judge . Keep helping our young men and young woman they are in need of your kind of help never let the Enemy defeat you!!🙏🙏

  2. Thank you Mr. Hall for filling in the gaps. I pray that you continue your work with many others. As it is needed for our community to continue to grow. I pray for peace for our young people and that our community rise above this to be great.

  3. This is a great article and provides the community with answers to many previously unanswered questions. Thank you.

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