Group Of OKC Bombing Victims Address Audit

Wednesday, November 14th 2012, 6:48 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

A group of survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing has written a letter about what they want included in an upcoming audit of the OKC Disaster Relief Fund.

The letter comes from a group called the Survivors Tree that represents nearly 200 hundred victims, family, and donors. They want to make sure when auditors look at the fund, they are looking at the right things.

11/13/2012 Related Story: Head Of Bombing Fund Talks To News 9 About Audit, Trustees

An April 19, 1995, Falesha Joyner was at the Murrah Federal building to get a social security card so she could get a second job.

The bombing killed her mother, young niece and nephew, and left her badly injured. She lost her ear, and her right arm is now paralyzed. She also had burns all over her body.

In 1998, she went to the Disaster Fund for help.

"She told me that the funds had been depleted and that's something that hurt me, so I will never forget the exact words that she said to me," Joyner said.

Joyner spent the last 14 years living on social security while Medicare took care of many surgeries. Doctors often made up the difference.

Recently she watched the news, and discovered the fund still had $10 million dollars in it.

"They lied to me and I've been struggling all these years," she said.

It's these cases that the Survivor's Tree wants to make sure are included in the audit.

"Had I known there was a fund, I don't think I would have lost my home," said Gloria Chipman, who's husband was killed in the bombing.

She helped draft the letter that calls for the audit to address a number of issues, including who was paid, who was denied, and why.

"Not even a majority of them have been helped," Chipman said.

In an interview Tuesday, the Chairman of the OCCF told us he didn't know if those things would be addressed.

"It's guesswork at this point because I'm not the auditor and I don't know," said Steven Davis.

But the Survivors Tree says the audit can't ignore the heart of the issue.

"I said ‘Oh Lord, I'm going to pick up the pieces and do the best I can,' and that's what I have been doing all this time," Joyner said.

The Survivor Tree group is also asking for documentation of any letters that the fund says it sent out to ask survivors if they needed help.

That letter is being sent to Governor Mary Fallin, former Mayor Ron Norick and former Governor Frank Keating.