The head of a Hurricane Katrina charity established by former Presidents Bush and Clinton has resigned under duress following the exodus of seven members from one of its committees.
In a statement, the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund announced that “in the best interests of the mission of The Fund,” its Executive Director Mary Ann Wyrsch agreed to step down.
Her resignation follows the abrupt departure of seven out of nine religious leaders serving on a committee charged with disbursing $20 million from the charity’s coffers to hurricane-damaged churches.
The departing committee members said they were upset by how they had been treated by the charity’s Washington staff, who they claim repeatedly undermined their grant-making decisions, sending money to churches without properly investigating them.
The incident that provoked the wave of resignations, which began with the departure of the committee’s co-chairs last week, was the Washington staff’s decision to cut checks to 38 churches without conducting an on-the-ground inspection.
“Before we sent the checks, we wanted to go out and see that Rev. Gray exists,” said Gray, who is himself the minister of a church in Philadelphia, as well as a former congressman.
(h/t to reader jac)