Kosair Charities has given more than $6 million annually to Kosair Children’s Hospital in Kentucky. But earlier this month, the charity filed a lawsuit against the hospital’s parent company, Norton Healthcare, accusing it of misusing some of the money they’ve given to instead “line the pockets of its executive.”
“We have an obligation to the kids and our donors to make sure the money is being used to help children,” said Randy Coe, president of Kosair Charities, which is the hospital’s largest donor. “We don’t want our money to go into the Norton pot.”
According to Norton’s most recently available tax return, filed in 2011, it paid President and CEO Stephen A. Williams $2.7 million in total compensation and paid two other executives more than $1 million each. The lawsuit asks for the return of any money found to have been used in violation of the agreement. Norton spokesman Thomas Johnson said the method of distributing funds “has been consistent since day one” and that the charity hasn’t complained until recently.
“The agreement is with Norton Healthcare, and Kosair Charities’ payments go to Norton Healthcare, designated to support Kosair Children’s Hospital and its mission. To suggest that Norton Healthcare somehow spirited their funds away from our children’s hospital, when they are fully aware their payments have always gone to Norton Healthcare according to the terms of the agreement, is offensive, insulting and misleading to the public,” he said.
Norton Health says they will try to accommodate any requests from Kosair that they consider reasonable. So far, no word on whether any of Kosair’s demands have been met.
How do you weigh in? Do you think it’s possible that Norton misused charity funds? And what should the consequences be if that turns out to be true?