By Nick Stamatakis
Tomorrow, November 17th is the date agreed upon by the two factions of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of New York, to hold a common assembly and start the process of re-unification by electing a “parade Committee” and various other committees (Charter / Membership / Election) on the road to the “unity elections” next June. Instead, the Georgopoulos’ side is holding their assembly at the Pontian Society “Komninoi,” and two blocks further down at the Stathakeion, the Kalamaras’ side is holding a closed meeting to discuss strategy and other issues, I was told.
The Georgopoulos’ side has told us that they are open to another date for a common assembly, and they also declared that they would proceed to elect one or two members for all those committees (above), leaving half the spaces open for the other side to fill them when they are ready. The Kalamaras’ side declared in all possible ways that “they will not cooperate with those who are responsible” for the illegalities of the past.
This is truly a case of a bad divorce, a very apt metaphor, as the two sides are fighting like crazy in the Queens Supreme Court. In many bad divorces, one side accuses the other of “cheating”, “stealing”, etc., and the Judge asks the other side, “why did they acquiesce?” (“acquiesce” is a legal term for “staying inactive when facing a legal threat”). Says the judge: “Why do you ask me to punish the cheater while you stayed silent and accepted all these illegal acts for years?”…
The same is true for almost everyone on the Kalamaras side: They were officers of the Federation Board for many years while watching Petros Galatoulas (and others) act illegally, as if this non-profit organization, the Federation, was his own business and his back pocket. Dimitris Kalamaras, as a lawyer, personally has a higher degree of responsibility and should know a thing or two both about “bad divorces” and the NY state laws for non-profits. He and others on his side violated their fiduciary and other duties as officers of the Federation. Instead of resigning or writing a report to the District Attorney, he sat there exercising his lengthy and useless oratory. Thousands of empty words and not one stitch of action. For years and years, endlessly…
Yes, many on the other side committed various illegal acts – but YOU, on the Kalamaras side, ACQUIESCED. You are both liable. If I were the judge in your court case, I would kick you out of my courtroom immediately and appoint a retired Judge or lawyer as a trustee of the Federation. This is a very likely scenario – but in the end, you, both sides, will have lost the parade and destroyed the organization for good.
As far as Helleniscope and the need for “publicity,” I remind you that we are the only news medium that called Galatoulas a “fraudster” several times on a headline – while all of you were playing ball with him. Period.
Lou Katsos: The “Trojan Horse” of the Archbishop In the Federation
It has become obvious that the Archbishop is determined to do everything possible to get the organization of the Fifth Avenue Greek Parade from the Federation. We saw it last May when, helped by a puppet of a Greek consul, Mr. Koutras, with the Parade Committee (Katsos, Kalamaras, Bardis) sleepy and silent, the Archdiocese sabotaged the invitation of the Evzones (the Greek Presidential Guard). Helleniscope and HANC president, Bill Mataragas, intervened and saved the day.
PHOTO: Lou Katsos with the Archbishop
Lou Katsos (the 2022 Parade Chairman and the de facto Archbishop’s representative to the Federation) is recently being pressured by AB Elpidophoros, trustworthy sources tell us, to take action and grab the parade away from the Federation in favor of AHEPA and the Archdiocese. And Katsos is truly acting. A few days ago, he wrote on his FB page that the USB stick containing the audit should be “turned over to the New York District Attorney for further investigation and or legal action.” In other words, Mr. Katsos favors closing the Federation down…
I have a question for Mr.Katsos (who replaces John Katsimatides – the busy billionaire, VP of the Archdiocesan Council, in his functions in GOA): If you are so eager about sending a non-profit to the authorities, why don’t you forward to the authorities evidence for the many violations and crimes committed in the Archdiocese – in addition to those already under federal criminal investigation since 2018? Which illegalities? Please ask the GOA lawyers or read Helleniscope! Example: We recently reported on many GOA employees getting double and triple salaries (some from Greece). Why don’t you report these to the IRS and the Greek tax authorities?
And another question: If you are so in favor of publicizing the contents of the USB stick (to a large extent, these were already made public by Helleniscope), why don’t you publicize the many accusations of sexual harassment – a much more serious crime – against GOA?
And a final question: If you are so eager about transparency and legality for the Federation with the $500,000 budget, why don’t you lead the effort to establish transparency rules for the Archdiocese with the $25 million budget? Shameless…
PHOTO: D.Kalamaras at last year’s Parade…
Dimitris Kalamaras: The “Trojan Mule” of the Archdiocese in the Federation
Lou Katsos is family friends with Dimitri Kalamaras, and they are both members of AHEPA, the organization which, in its 100 years of existence, is known in our community for NEVER having done ANYTHING about Cyprus, the recognition of the Hellenic Genocides or any other political issue we hold close at heart. This is the organization that the Archbishop wants to take charge of the Parade!… In addition to being “sleepy” on the Evzones invitation (above), here is what D.Kalamaras has done since last year:
- Last October, when he filed the complaint about the illegal elections of the other side, he inexplicably failed to file a TRO, which should have solved the problem a year ago – despite many meetings where he promised to do so.
- Last July, after the Audit Committee presented its findings and made a report at “Stathakeion”, followed by a “road map to elections”, the two sides met on July 15 and were very close to agreeing. Kalamaras was not present, but he saw and partially drafted the agreement. He never finalized it.
- In September, when the Audit committee and Kostas Mastoras himself did everything possible to make the two sides agree on the November 17 reunification meeting, he again found a way to escape.
His excuse this time was that he wanted a 90-day adjournment of the legal case. No matter how many times Kostas Mastoras and all others explained that the 90-day (and likely later to be 6-7 month adjournment) would be signed on November 17th – after the Committees are formed – he stubbornly insisted that he disagreed and wanted the adjournment first “because his side is accumulating legal fees”. He prefers to keep the case open and accumulate legal fees for years instead of agreeing on the Nov.17th meeting!!
The stubborn “Trojan Mule” Kalamaras also believes that he, a past president, should have the right to be a candidate in the upcoming election!! While the whole community is demanding for all past presidents to be ineligible, he and his side see themselves glued to their official posts forever!! The next elections, after the Charter changes, should be considered elections for a new organization. Why? Because ALL past presidents and many officers are legally liable and responsible for this mess, and so we should start fresh!!
Based on the above, D.Kalamaras gives us the right to be suspicious of his role in undermining the Federation!..
PHOTO: George Georgopoulos
The “Trojan Donkeys” on Both sides…
We have a bunch of people who either act suspiciously or selfishly believe they have the right to continue their “work” at the Federation. The answer to most of them is a big NO!
On the Kalamaras’ side, although most are known to have “clean hands,” they fail to understand that their liability is different – but they are liable nonetheless. They call the other side “the thieves,” but they fail to see themselves in the mirror and face their own failures. To prove their fallacy, they issued an announcement yesterday (FEDERATION – KALAMARAS SIDE ANNOUNCEMENT – NOV 15), saying they are ready for a new beginning “after the other side is punished”!! Well, you proved us right when we suggested that you want to destroy the Federation!!… Real “Trojan Donkeys”!!!
To his credit Kleanthis Meimaroglou, already promised me and others that he does not plan to run for any office. The rest should do the same.
The Georgopoulos side should look closely at an article I wrote last year (link here). Since then, I have accumulated even more evidence. For the good of the community, I ask those with dirty hands – to stay out of any future elections of the Federation.
- To their credit, George Georgopoulos and A.Tomopoulos declared they were not running for anything.
- Paul Kotronis cannot run until his organization’s lawyer solves the legal issue about the 150,000 check, borrowed from the Federation (with the money returned two months later to a different bank account!!).
- Whoever had a close relationship with Petros Galatoulas, a relationship that had to do with money, has to stay out. Nick Bardis, please do the right thing – you belong to the organization’s past. Three ladies (you know who you are), who were close friends and “assistants” to Galatoulas, please also stay away. Please respect everyone’s intelligence.
- Some others have had a “close encounter of the third type” with Galatoulas (Example: Α.Aronis). We know who you are. We do not need the USB stick to prove your involvement. What? You did not “know” who Galatoulas was? You were officers of the Federation, but you did not know, for example, his wheeling and dealing with TNH Publisher A.Diamataris? You did not know that TNH was getting $70,000 a year from the Federation? You did not know that the local branch of the New Democracy party kicked Galatoulas out about ten years ago, accusing him of embezzlement? You did not know that the Chian Federation not only kicked Galatoulas out – over twenty years ago – but also did not allow him to enter their building? If you did not know all these things, then, you are too inept and ignorant, and you should not be part of the Federation now… Please stay out!
I will close here by pleading with all of you who want to be the future of our community: Helleniscope will be watching you and will not hesitate one minute to praise your good work but also to expose those who will take the low road to infamy…
DISCLAIMER: The views and statements expressed in this article constitute constitutionally protected opinions of this author.
BELOW IS A LETTER BY ACHILLEAS LIGGERAS
Αχιλλέας Λυγγέρας: Μου θυμίζουν τους “σκουριασμένους τενεκέδες” οι δήθεν ηγέτες της Ομοσπονδίας”
Όταν δεν φτάνει το μυαλό περισσεύει η χαζομάρα” λένε στο χωριό μου που γεννήθηκα. Αυτό ακριβώς γίνεται τώρα με τους δήθεν ηγέτες των δυο αντιμαχόμενων πλευρών της παραπαίουσας Ομοσπονδίας Ελληνικών Σωματείων Μείζονος Νέας Υόρκης, που μου θυμίζουν τους “σκουριασμένους τενεκέδες”. Εννοείται πως υπάρχουν και λιγοστές λαμπρές εξαιρέσεις, αλλά δυστυχώς “Μαζί με τα ξερά καίγονται και τα χλωρά.”