Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Return Of The Schiavo Vultures

Well, file this one under nobody could have anticipated:
Now more than five years after Terri Schiavo died at the Pinellas Park hospice that was the scene of protests, lawsuits and even Congressional action, her family is still working to keep her name alive, but according to IRS records we obtained they are also profiting off of her name.


In most recent IRS report that the Foundation filed for 2008, it shows the foundation took in $91,568 and paid Terri's dad Robert Schindler Sr., her brother Robert Jr. and her sister Suzanne Vitadamo $59,275, or 64% of the money they raised.

Charity Navigator a respected Charity Rating organization says any charity spending more than 30 percent on salaries gets a zero rating. The foundation doesn't come close.

In the meantime, since the report was filed, the salaries have increased to $80,000 a year, but the Foundation says one salary is in arrears causing some family members to work without pay. Also since the IRS report was filed and Terri Schiavo's father died.

We stopped in to talk to Schindler's siblings after they referred us to their attorney David Gibbs, who first told us he would set up a meeting but then said there were scheduling problems. When we found both Bobby Schindler and Suzanne Vitadamo in the office, we were told they weren't available. That's when Bobby Schindler said we should direct our inquires to their attorney, Gibbs. Schindler said they just would rather work it that way.

Schindler didn't tell us anything, including how the organization spent $34,000s more than it collected in 2008; about the money it raised from a concert with country stars  Randy Travis and Colin Ray,  why as it told the IRS, the Foundation doesn't have a conflict of interest policy; and why it is using the name Terri Schiavo. A court document gives Michael Schiavo intangible rights to his wife's name.

Well, isn’t that interesting. I always got a skeevy feeling from that band of vultures.