Chairman Donald Notice resigned hours before the board voted to pick his sister's group.
A walking tour, jazz concerts and art shows highlight culture, history of Hamilton Heights.
The group has awarded $3 million to 110 nonprofits in 2013.
Columbia University agreed to provide the money as a part of its West Harlem campus expansion.
The WHDC will award $2 million in grants Thursday.
The Empire State Development Corporation says it will examine Columbia's hiring records.
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