Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wounded Warrior flap is as heartbreaking as stolen valor

Wounded Warrior flap is as heartbreaking as stolen valor
The Dallas Morning News
Jim Mitchell
Published: March 11, 2016
To me, the betrayed trust of donors is every bit as bad as stolen valor, people who fraudulently claim heroic military accomplishments. Most of us give to charities because we have a heart and want to do our bit to help, no matter how large or small. And what we want to know is that we’re making a difference and not supporting individual lifestyles or marketing juggernauts.
The Wounded Warrior Project fired CEO Steve Nardizzi (above) and its chief financial officer but contends that media reports of problems with accounting procedures and controls are inaccurate. (2009 File Photo/The Associated Press)
I’ve never served in the military. My father, uncle, cousin and grandfather served. So did various members of my wife’s family.

You don’t need a military record to be outraged by the accusations of financial misdeeds at the Wounded Warrior Project. The more I learn about the Wounded Warrior Project controversy, the madder I get. Badly injured servicemen and women seem to have been used as fundraising props.

The charity’s board of directors this week fired chief executive officer Steven Nardizzi and chief operating officer Al Giordano after an independent review found serious problems with internal policies, procedures and controls. These were the guys on whose watch the project seemed to lose its bearings. They took the fall.

However, the investigation findings make it sound as though the problems were traceable to lax accounting. Deeper allegations from CBS and The New York Times indicate that money was wasted on lavish parties (and other things) to bolster the lifestyles of top charity leaders. That’s not an accounting mishap; that’s a cultural mindset.
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