Bombing Fund Spends More Than $200K On Admin. Costs

Friday, November 9th 2012, 7:54 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

After the bombing of the Murrah federal building, millions of dollars were donated to help the victims. Fourteen million went into the Oklahoma City Disaster Relief fund managed by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

But victims say their repeated requests for financial help are denied; those like Deloris Watson who tried to get financial help for her grandson, PJ.

"They said I had to apply for social security, disability, and go through the Department of Human Services," said Watson.  "I was like 'Why would I use tax dollars when there is a fund set up?'"

11/7/2012 Related Story: OKC Bombing Victims Turn To Gov. Fallin To Free Up Donation Funds

According to the Fund's 2010 tax returns, the fund paid out $363,407  to victims for things like mental health services, educational assistance  and medical expenses. But the rest of the fund's expenses goes to management fees, investment fees and staff, totaling nearly $252,944 dollars that year.

News 9 took the returns to Better Business Bureau president Bob Manista. As part of their mission, the BBB evaluates charities.

"You want to see a situation where at least 50% of the money spent is going towards its stated programs," said Manista.

In addition, Manista says it appears from the tax return the trustees who decide who gets the money are also paid.

"You're kind of on thin ice. You don't want a situation where people that see direct benefits from where the funds are spent are in charge of deciding where to spend the funds," said Manista.

Right now that fund has about $10 million in it.

"The Trustees of the Oklahoma City Bombing Disaster Relief Fund have never, and will never, receive any financial benefit whatsoever from their service as Trustees. None of them have ever received one penny," said Steven Davis, Chairman of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

The Foundation released the following statement Friday evening:

"Each of these volunteer Trustees has dedicated hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of their time, without any compensation, because they care so deeply about the Murrah bombing survivors."