Feed The Children has fired another longtime top executive — this time the daughter of the charity's founders.
Larri Sue Jones, 44, an attorney, was fired last month, a top official confirmed. She was a senior vice president and made $167,520 a year, according to the charity's
Her dismissal July 22 is the latest shake-up at the Oklahoma City-based charity that is widely known for its heart-wrenching TV commercials. It reported donations of $1.19 billion in the 2009 fiscal year.
The charity's former president, Larry Jones, was fired in November. His wife, Frances Jones, still is employed there but worries she will be fired soon. The two founded the charity 31 years ago.
Larri Sue Jones' dismissal was a surprise because she had sided with the charity's board of directors against her father in a bitter dispute for control of the organization. Larry Jones was fired in part because he had authorized the installation of hidden microphones in the offices of his daughter and two other executives.
No explanation was given for her termination. She did not return repeated phone calls for comment.
The turmoil surrounding the charity has resulted in a dozen lawsuits and an investigation by the state attorney general.
The attorney general's investigation into allegations of financial wrongdoing is ongoing.
Here are some other recent developments involving the charity:
• Larry Jones and his wife, Frances, alleged Friday that Mart Green and his father, David Green, plan a "hostile takeover" of Feed The Children. Mart Green denied the claim, saying his family is not actively pursuing a relationship.
Mart Green is founder of Mardel, a chain of Christian and educational supply stores. David Green is the founder of Hobby Lobby. The Green family helped save Oral Roberts University in 2007. Larry Jones and his wife allege the Greens want Feed The Children to be merged into a Missouri relief organization known as Convoy of Hope. Larry Jones said he met with David and Mart Green on July 8. He said he and Frances Jones met again with Mart Green on July 23.
Mart Green told The Oklahoman, "Our family has extensive experience in assisting ministries, which is why we felt compelled to reach out to Feed The Children.... We were hoping to bring all parties together to resolve their differences. We were unable to do so, so, at this time, we're not actively pursuing a relationship."
• Frances Jones said the charity's New York attorneys have brought up cutting her salary from around $205,000 to around $50,000. She said she has been moved to an office away from the charity's headquarters.
She also said the charity has given her until today to sign a confidentiality agreement. She said executives have said her trip to her Abandoned Baby Center in Kenya will be postponed if she doesn't sign. She has hired attorney Gary Richardson, of Tulsa, to represent her. "They want to get rid of me," she said.
• The charity has settled a lawsuit filed by two fired accountants. The accountants, Stephanie Dean and Stefani Hovarter, alleged the charity owes $1.1 million to the state of Oklahoma in back taxes on purchases. They alleged they were fired in September because they reported the delinquency to the Tax Commission. The settlement terms were confidential. The charity is working with the Tax Commission on an agreement about the back taxes.
• The charity in May sold at a loss a house near Hollywood in Burbank, Calif. Larri Sue Jones had lived there when in California. The charity spent $1.2 million in donations in May 2007 on the four-bedroom house. The charity sold the house for $912,000, records show.
• A judge in July signed orders authorizing Feed The Children to pay $303,921 to attorneys who represented five directors last year in the first lawsuit arising out of the board's power struggle with Larry Jones.
• Feed The Children in June sued Allen Jones, the founders' son. They allege Allen Jones and others stripped a charity food distribution warehouse in Elkhart, Ind., of $5 million worth of copper wiring, pipes, equipment and other materials. Larry Jones has said his son wasn't involved in that removal. Allen Jones' attorney declined comment.