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Group says audit of Oklahoma City bombing fund needs to examine rejected claims

A letter sent to Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and others faults the funds' overseers for “nonspending.”
BY Randy Ellis rellis@opubco.com Published: November 15, 2012
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However, some other survivors have praised the foundation's handling of bombing funds. Nancy Anthony, president of the foundation, has called allegations of wrongful fund request denials “not accurate” or the result of misunderstandings.

Foundation officials announced Nov. 8 they would request an audit to address public concerns.

Survivor Tree Committee members say a simple financial audit won't satisfy their concerns.

“We did not call for an audit,” the letter states. “We requested that Kenneth Feinberg be called to do a study, audit, review of files, conduct town hall meetings, and distribute the monies.”

Feinberg is an attorney popularly referred to as the “pay czar.” He was involved in determining how funds should be distributed among victims of the 9/11 terrorists' attack, BP oil spill and Virginia Tech campus shooting.

If an audit is done, it should address several key issues, committee members state.

“The audit should include all the requests for assistance since the fund was established,” the letter states. “The documentation must include phone conversations, letters of request, letters of assistance, and all denial correspondence be it by phone or written. This form of correspondence needs to include what was paid or how much was denied and for what reason.”

Auditors should be given authority to review all medical files, they state.

Alex Weintz, spokesman for Gov. Fallin, said Wednesday that she had not seen the letter.

“I know she's happy they are doing an independent audit and supportive of that decision,” Weintz said.

Weintz noted that the foundation is private entity and Fallin is not on its board of directors, so she has no official say in how the audit is conducted.

The Oklahoma City Community Foundation is an umbrella organization that administers about 1,300 nonprofit funds with combined assets of more than $632 million. The bombing fund is just one of the funds it administers.

CONTRIBUTING:

Ziva Branstetter, Tulsa World enterprise editor