Wounded Warrior executives fired amid controversy
The board of the Wounded Warrior Project, one of the largest veteran support organizations in the country, has fired the nonprofit’s chief executive officer and the chief operating officer, according to a CBS News report.
The departure of two top executives, CEO Steven Nardizzi and COO Al Giordano, comes at a time when the wounded veteran-focused organization is awash in controversy amid news reports accusing the group of wasteful spending.
According to Wounded Warrior Project tax forms obtained by a CBS News investigation, the organization spent $26 million on conferences and meetings in 2014, up from $1.7 million in 2014.
The CBS report also talked to numerous former employees that accused the organization of making money off their injuries.
According to the charity watchdog, ‘‘Charity Navigator,’’ Wounded Warrior Project only spends 60 percent of its budget on veterans. The Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, on the other hand, provides more than 98 percent to veterans. Charity Navigator also assessed that Wounded Warrior’s total revenue for 2014 was well over $340 million.
One former employee told CBS News that how Wounded Warrior Project spends its money is the equivalent of ‘‘what the military calls fraud, waste and abuse.’’
In the wake of the reports, Wounded Warrior Project issued a statement attacking them as false and accusing CBS of not contacting the chair of the Wounded Warrior Project’s audit committee prior to running their story. The organization also took to social media, responding to numerous concerns and attacks on its Facebook page.
According to CBS, Nardizzi and Giordano’s removal was due in part to the preliminary results of a financial audit following the reports accusing Wounded Warrior Project of improper spending.
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