Health Department Investigated Illegal Summer Camp a Year Before Closing It

September 27, 2017 - summer camp

 Andre Lewis (right) ran an unlawful summer stay in Bed-Stuy and took kids on margin trips including attending a convene for Mayor Bill de Blasio on Jul 12.

Andre Lewis (right) ran an unlawful summer stay in Bed-Stuy and took kids on margin trips including attending a convene for Mayor Bill de Blasio on Jul 12.
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BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — The city investigated an bootleg summer stay scarcely a year before inspectors finally shut it down for handling though a permit, according to newly expelled inner records.

Convicted law-breaker Andre Lewis told city officials that he “voluntarily” sealed down Camp Bed-Stuy on Aug. 30, 2016 after inspectors from a Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found it was handling though correct permitting, according to papers expelled to DNAinfo New York in response to a Freedom of Information Law request.

But that did not stop him from reopening a stay for a summer of 2017 and stability to work though a correct paperwork until August, when inspectors finally sealed a stay after steady complaints from relatives and an review by DNAinfo.

READ MORE: Jilted Parents and Employees Demand Refund from Shuttered Bed-Stuy Camp

Now, Lewis — whose Facebook page lists him as “Visionary Leader” of a stay — has been slapped with $6,800 in fines after skipping a conference before a Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, during that he was due Aug. 30 of this year to face accusations committing 7 violations of city regulations, according to group records. 

Lewis has a prolonged story of using trashy child caring programs going behind some-more than a decade, including a “toxic” preschool in Brooklyn that was tighten down in Nov 2007, according to news reports during a time, and a sham giveaway breakfast module by that he stole $500,000 in food grants from a sovereign government, according to justice records.

In 2009 he was convicted in Brooklyn sovereign justice for a misappropriation of supports from a Department of Agriculture, for that he was condemned to 18 months in jail and systematic to compensate full restitution. Lewis, who regularly unsuccessful court-mandated drug tests, was barred from ever using a nonprofit again, and indignant relatives tighten down an progressing try in 2009 to start a summer camp, while he was still confronting a sovereign charges, according to a Daily News

But after a few years out of a spotlight, he sensitively non-stop an after-school module called UberAcademic, that after morphed into UberCamp and, by a summer of 2016, was renamed Camp Bed-Stuy, according to Lewis’s amicable media posts.

In a time that he was using a camp, Lewis regularly unsuccessful to compensate staffers both summers according to several former counselors who spoke with DNAinfo. Parents complained a stay was feeble organized. He regularly abandoned final to reinstate stay fees, according to relatives and screenshots of communications Lewis that were common with DNAinfo.

So far, during slightest dual relatives have brought complaints opposite Lewis in Brooklyn tiny claims court, annals show, and staffers from 2016 and 2017 are still perplexing to get paid overdue wages.

The Health Department tighten down Camp Bed-Stuy Aug. 9, 2017 after inspectors saw 32 children with only dual counselors during Herbert Von King Park, in defilement of a law that any stay handling with some-more than 10 children requires a permit.

The investigation came a day after DNAinfo began questioning complaints from mixed relatives that Lewis was using a camp, that relatives described as feeble orderly to a indicate of danger, though a permit.

Following a closure of a stay on Aug. 9, a mouthpiece for a city Health Department pronounced it had initial perceived complaints about Camp Bed-Stuy on Jul 21 of this year, and sent inspectors out Jul 24 and Jul 25 to investigate, though on both days inspectors did not see some-more than 10 children in any one place. 

That timeline is contradicted by a annals expelled Tuesday, that uncover that a initial censure about a stay was finished Aug. 29, 2016. Although inspectors who achieved a site revisit Aug. 30 of that year did not find some-more than 10 children in attendance, Lewis volunteered to tighten a stay down in sequence to get a paperwork finished right, annals show.

In a minute to a dialect antiquated Aug. 30, 2016, Lewis thanked a inspectors for their industry and affianced to get a compulsory permits.

“Our enterprise is to approve and be an central Summer Day Camp with a NYC DOH permit; we enterprise to be in good standing,” wrote Lewis, who during that time had been using a stay all summer though a permit, annals show.

Lewis did go by a early motions of requesting for a assent to work this summer, though he did not finish a paperwork, and ran a stay until a final closure Aug. 9 with no accede from a city.

Carolina Rodriguez, a mouthpiece for a Health Department shielded a agency’s attempts to examine a operation before to a closure.

“As shortly as we perceived complaints per Mr. Lewis handling an unpermitted summer camp, we mobilized staff to investigate,” she wrote in an email. “Each time we conducted inspections Mr. Lewis managed to have underneath 10 children underneath his care, that is reduction than a series of children that constitutes a summer stay underneath regulations.”

In further to using a stay though a license, Lewis also flouted practice regulations, by unwell to perform a compulsory credentials and sex-offender registry checks on staffers, according to Health Department annals and former staff members.

After a closure of a camp, he was strike with 7 violations, totaling $6,800 in fines, annals show. He skipped an Aug. 30 hearing, ensuing in Lewis being strike with a default chastisement for any violation, a preference that is he might interest within 60 days from a missed hearing, according to a mouthpiece for a Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings.

Lewis did not respond to mixed requests for comment, though in a Facebook post Tuesday morning he claimed to be operative on a new ask for proposals for a concept pre-K program.

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