June 25, 2010
State Action Update: Stevens Institute and US Navy Veterans
We previously blogged about the New Jersey Attorney General's lawsuit against the Stevens Institute of Technology and the series of stories raising questions about the U.S. Navy Veterans Association. Some of this information is a bit dated, but I thought our readers would appreciate learning how those cases turned out or are progressing):
- Stevens Institute Settles: Bloomberg reported that the Stevens Institute quietly settled its dispute with the Attorney General only a few months after it began, agreeing to to numerous governance changes and the resignation of its long-time president. The president will, however, remain a consultant to the institute. For more details, see the AG's press release and the final consent judgment.
- Florida Orders US Navy Veterans Association to Cease Operations Immediately; Ohio Attorney General Seeks Restraining Orders: In its latest story on this group, the St. Petersburg Times reports that the Florida's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which has jurisdiction over charities in that state, has filed an emergency order ordered the Association to cease operations in the state immediately, including solicitation of contributions. The article also reports that seven other states have launched investigations into the group, and U.S. Senator Jim Webb has asked both the Department of Veterans Affairs and the IRS to examine the organization. Separately, the Ohio Attorney General announced that he is seeking emergency court orders to stop solicitations of contributions from residents of his state by this organization because it has been unable to locate any of the claimed Ohio officers of the group and the organization's counsel, who is based in Ohio, has stated the group does not have to comply with that office's cease and desist orders.
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There is an awful lot of smoke here to declare the absence of fire. I have worked the edges of this story for several months and have come to the the belief that the USNVA may be a poorly disguised front for a political slush fund supporting (almost overwhelmingly)Republican candidates in several states.
I think that this outfit should be shut down and serious criminal investigations launched into the affairs of Bobby Thompson, his "board members" as well as the Mac Murray law firm that seems to be fronting for him.
Posted by: Bob Higgins | Jun 26, 2010 4:09:48 AM
The complaint and settlement in Stevens were published as attachments to New Jersey AG press releases, and can only be found by scrolling down the list of press releases for 2009. However, the complaint and settlement documents have been preserved by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University online digital repository, Folio, and are available at http://hdl.handle.net/10244/501 for the complaint and http://hdl.handle.net/10244/500 for the final consent judgment.
Posted by: Jim Fishman | Jun 26, 2010 2:22:40 PM