Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Continuing Saga On Greg Mortenson's Charity

by Gary Snyder

In an effort for the Montana’s attorney general’s office to conduct its inquiry into the Central Asia Institute, the charity run by the embattled author Greg Mortenson, a class-action lawsuit demanding the return of millions of dollars of donations and book proceeds has been dropped.

Anne Beyersdorfer, who is serving as the institute’s interim executive director while Mr. Mortenson is out, said in a written statement that the charity was “bolstered” by the news that it was dropped from the case. “CAI’s mission,” she said, “is better served without trial lawyers and the expense of litigation.”

But Alexander Blewett III, the Great Falls, Mont. lawyer, who is handling the lawsuit, says the charity’s “glee” may be premature.

He says the complaint was amended only to “temporarily get out of the way” of the state’s attorney general’s office, which is conducting its own inquiry into the Central Asia Institute.

“It’s the A.G.’s position that only the A.G. can bring any such claims against a charity once a donor gives money,” Mr. Blewett says. But he adds: “If they don’t reconcile this fraud or malfeasance, then we’ll return with our claim.”

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, B, USA Today Topics, ,, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more • Nonprofits: On the Brink (iUniverse, 2006)
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