IRS Investigation Sought Into Kostoplis Exploiting 501(c)(3) Charity for Partisan Political Purposes
Clear violation of IRS rules not the first time Kostoplis embarrasses the NJ Honor Legion law enforcement organization
For Immediate Release
Contact: Chris Russell
Mount Holly, October 5, 2016 – Burlington County Republican Chairman William Layton asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to formally review the tax-exempt status of the NJ Honor Legion of the Police Departments of the State of New Jersey (EIN # 22-288-1477) due to Democrat Sheriff’s candidate Jim Kostoplis leveraging the organization for partisan political purposes, which is expressly prohibited by IRS rules.
A video posted on September 13, 2016 on the “Jim Kostoplis for Burlington County Sheriff, NJ” campaign YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkmRdIFmiXs) shows Mr. Kostoplis, wearing his “Jim Kostoplis for Sheriff” shirt, recognizing a local diner owner with an award from the NJ Honor Legion (NJHL). Additionally, on the video Mr. Kostoplis can clearly be heard stating that he personally arranged for the organization to issue the award in question. The recipient owns a large, well-known diner in one of Burlington County’s largest and most politically important municipalities.
“The Internal Revenue Code is crystal clear, and states that ‘all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office,’” said Layton, quoting from the IRS web site. “Jim Kostoplis exploiting his role with the NJ Honor Legion to bestow awards on people and businesses in Burlington County, while wearing his ‘Kostoplis for Sheriff’ campaign attire, and then posting videos of it on his campaign web site are in direct contradiction to the rules and could result in revocation of the NJ Honor Legion’s 501(c)3 status. I would hate to see this longstanding and, by all accounts, solid organization punished because Jim Kostoplis isn’t competent enough to follow basic rules. How does someone who claims to be Mr. Law and Order not know the law?”
Layton said it wasn’t the first time that Kostoplis has embarrassed the NJ Honor Legion. In 2012, when Kostoplis served as President of the NJHL, the group bestowed a “Citizenship Award” on a reputed mobster three weeks after he was convicted for using a gun to shake down a rival bidder for a Staten Island school lunch contract.
“One would think that before Mr. Kostoplis would decide to honor someone with a ‘Citizenship Award’ he might want to check to see if their prospective recipient had any recent run-ins with the law that might impugn the integrity of the organization he leads,” said Layton. “Between his mismanagement of Bordentown Fire District #2 that saw homeowner insurance rates skyrocket due to incompetence with Kostoplis as Commissioner, to his flagrant violation of IRS rules, to this award screw-up, it’s pretty clear that Mr. Kostoplis isn’t fit to run a lemonade stand, let alone the Burlington County Sheriff’s Office.”