In a statement posted Thursday, the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York alleged that the national version of the organization, the Restaurant Opportunities Center United, had severed ties with it after the two had a bitter falling-out.
The two groups had been discussing a merger but talks apparently fell apart: "ROC-United demanded that we sign an agreement that would have required us to violate NY State laws, and when we declined to sign, ROC-United shut down communications and severed ties with us." The New York group added that it was "saddened by this outcome."
It is not clear what state law violation the New York group is alleging. At press time, neither group had responded to a request for comment by the Washington Examiner.
The national group has a history of cutting corners legally. From 2009 to 2011, ROC-United spent just under $100,000 on lobbying expenses that it failed to disclose to the IRS, public tax documents show.
The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity's Watchdog.org reported in February that the national organization had used the New York group's tax-exempt status to obtain a $275,000 Labor Department grant -- despite the fact that they are legally distinct entities. The national group did not receive nonprofit status until 2010.