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Disbursement of donations to Newtown postponed

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 7, 2013 at 11:18 am •  Published: May 7, 2013

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's attorney general is getting involved in the decision over how to spend money sent to Newtown in the wake of December's shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, which is overseeing more than $11 million of that money, postponed public hearings with the victims' families planned for Tuesday and Wednesday. It will instead meet with Attorney General George Jepsen to discuss the disbursement process, said Dr. Charles Herrick, a member of the foundation's board of directors.

"It's going to happen sometime this week, but I can't say more than that at this point," Herrick said Tuesday.

Herrick said they planned to announce a new schedule for hearings after meeting with Jepsen.

The foundation had announced last month that it planned an initial disbursement of $7.7 million, to be divided among families of the 26 people killed inside the school, 12 surviving children from the classrooms where people were shot and the two people wounded.

The group had originally planned to give those most affected by the shooting $4 million as an initial payment, but revised that figure upward after families expressed a desire to receive one lump-sum payment rather than have the money disbursed over time, Herrick said last month.

The hearings were designed to help a three-member distribution committee, chaired by retired U.S. District Judge Alan Nevas, determine how much money each family would receive. But some families apparently were still not happy with the arrangement, with some questioning why any money was being withheld from them.

"The attorney general met with various families who lost precious loved ones on Dec. 14 and their representatives on Friday," Jepsen's office said in a statement. "As a result of the meeting, and consistent with his responsibilities to oversee charitable activities and fundraising in Connecticut, the attorney general has scheduled a meeting with representatives from the Sandy Hook Community Foundation to discuss issues surrounding the decision to disburse $7.7 million to the families most affected by the tragedy."

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