Sad End to a Venerable Charity
HARTFORD (CN) - Connecticut's attorney general asked a judge to dissolve the Doc Hurley Scholarship Foundation, claiming the founder's daughter looted the charity that has awarded 500 scholarships and hosted an annual basketball tournament.
The organization was founded by Doc Hurley, 91, a former school administrator. The organization lost its tax-exempt status in 2007. It was managed then by Hurley's daughter, Muriel Hurley-Carter, who is named in a separate complaint filed by the state.
According to both complaints, the organization had nearly $1 million in its Legacy Fund in 2007. By 2011, it had depleted all of its assets, including every penny of the Legacy Fund, which was used to pay for the scholarships and the for the foundation's operations.
In its civil complaint against Executive Director Hurley-Carter, the state claims she spent charitable funds on herself, including cash withdrawals, payments to a personal credit card account, dog daycare and grooming, retail purchases and a personal trainer.
The state seeks civil penalties against Hurley-Carter for each violation, and restitution or forfeiture of misappropriated funds. It also wants Hurley-Carter enjoined from holding any office, directorship or position of employment or any other association with a charitable organization in Connecticut in which she will have control of funds or authorization over disbursement.
"Even as late as the Fall of 2013, the Foundation was soliciting charitable funds, courting new applicants for its scholarship program, and representing that it was a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity on its website, all while its financial accounts were depleted," the complaint against the foundation states.
The state claims: "The Foundation has abused and misused its corporate status in that it has engaged in activities and conduct that in derogation of and inconsistent with its charitable purpose; namely it abandoned its obligation to protect the Legacy Fund."
Attorney General George Jepsen added in a statement: "The fact that funds intended to benefit needy scholarship recipients were apparently used to support someone's personal lifestyle is simply unacceptable. We will be looking to hold Muriel Hurley-Carter accountable for those actions."