Thursday, July 31, 2008

Call Pennsylvania Attorney General - Tom Corbett

Latest Update: 8/7/08

Dear Friend,

Those who would like to ask the Pennyslvania Attorney General to negotiate a public unsealed settlement in the Funds Misappropriation lawsuit vs. American Friends Service Committee can mention the Philadelphia Orphan's Court Docket # 1067 of 2007. Please see contact information for the Attorney General below.

To see the history of the case filings and schedule in this case.
Please see: Orphan's Court Division - Docket Access

Click: Display Orphan's Docket Report, Click: Accept, then Enter: 1067 in the first box and 2007 in the 2nd. Click: Submit

Here, one may log on to Philadelphia's wonderful web-based open government database for information about cases filed in the Philadelphia Orphan's Court. For those who would like to visit the Court in person to obtain copies of relevant court filings, go to the large building with the statue of Wm. Penn standing on top and go to room 415. Copies are $3.00 per page.

The meeting between attorneys and The Honorable Judge John Herron is scheduled for Tuesday, August 26 at 1:00 pm, and activist Friends moved to stand for Quaker Testimony of Integrity might well decide to convene an Integrity Vigil outside the chambers that day.

In Friendship,


previously posted

A Pennsylvania Assistant Attorney General was contacted the week of 7/21/08 to inquire about the details of the investigation and court proceedings of a lawsuit against the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). This lawsuit alleging financial misappropriation was brought to light by a whistleblower reported in an October 2007 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. This week, the Assistant Attorney General declined to confirm whether or not there is or is not an investigation ongoing even though the Inquirer reported that 14 funds worth $8MM managed by the AFSC would be audited as part of the investigation. The Assistant Attorney General did confirm that there is a meeting between the lawyers and the judge in this case scheduled for this August 2008.

Could there be a settlement in this case shortly?
We know that there are a substantial number of Quakers or Friends who feel that the American Friends Service Committee has long ago outrun its Quaker Guide, God, or the Spirit of Christ that Friends feel in unity with. We know that the AFSC spends very little of its $45MM annual budget on face-to-face ‘Service’ work. Quaker volunteers are not allowed to help, since AFSC is a union shop. What now exists in modern day is a neatly packaged Political Action Committee meant to support an agenda that divides, not unifies. There are very few Quakers on the AFSC staff and many Friends Monthly Meetings and Wider Bodies have broken ranks with the AFSC. The AFSC represents itself as a ‘Quaker’ organization when it feels the political, public relations or financial advantage to do so. The AFSC has recently changed its mission statement to demonstratively call itself ‘Quaker’, become more secular, and should now or soon be required by the IRS to make public its independent audit statements (Form 990) as does any other non-church non-profit in the Public Trust.
Any good cause starts as a movement, becomes a business and eventually degenerates into a racket, according to philosopher Eric Hoffer. At what point in this continuum is the AFSC now after almost a century in existence and a severe decline in Friends’ membership. Do Friends have the ability to properly oversee this ‘institution’? Friends also know this condition as natural, and once spun off, an organization should have its own charter, however be known as un-affiliated with the Quaker Church.

Friends are urged to write or call the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Tom Corbett, to ask that the State of Pennsylvania, as part of any potential settlement with the AFSC, require the details of the findings and the settlement in the upcoming negotiations with the Judge, remain unsealed and public. The giving public in general deserves to know the truth about any financial misappropriation which has occurred at the AFSC. As well, Friends deserve to know what was found Friends were once called Publishers of the Truth. Modern Friends in no way can reasonably feel that secrecy in this case will serve the public or the historic or current Friends’ Integrity.

A. G. Corbett
Pennsylvania Attorney General
Phone: 215-560-2402 Charitable Trusts and Organizations Section
21 South 12th Street, 3rd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19107