Wednesday, December 30th 2009, 7:29 am
Staff and Wire Reports
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Feed The Children said the charity's ex-president took bribes, hid hard-core pornographic magazines and committed other misdeeds.
The charity is making the allegations in a countersuit filed against 69-year-old Larry Jones, who filed a wrongful-termination lawsuit against Feed The Children and its board of directors on Nov. 10, four days after he was fired.
The board accused Jones of taking bribes and kickbacks, mismanaging company assets, and nepotism. Jones has denied all of those claims.
"Their attorneys are making a desperate effort to smear Mr. Jones for matters that they know are not true and are not founded," said Mark Hammons, Larry Jones' Attorney.
The board said Jones gave himself and his wife a pay raise without authorization, created a position at Feed The Children for his niece, illegally took money from a media company doing business with the organization and didn't report it and got the same company to hire his son.
"There is not anything in terms of a bribe. There is not anything in terms of a business relationship other than they have published books which he has sold," Hammons said.
The suit also claims pornography was found hidden in a private area in Jones' office after he was let go. Jones has crusaded against porn in the past and said the items were research materials for a book he was writing.
"I know that he has had to describe and had to identify material that are improper in the nature of them, but unfortunately sometimes you have to look at those things in order to know what it is you're talking about," Hammons said.
Feed The Children released a statement stating Jones' inappropriate financial dealings left the board no choice but to sever his employment, and with the discovery of the pornography they said they feel the right decision was made.
Hammons said Feed The Children is making the allegations in court papers because they can't be sued for defamation, but they will try to get the court to sanction them.
Jones and his wife, Frances, founded the charity in 1979 and the organization has reported raising more than $1 billion in cash and gifts annually.
December 30th, 2009
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