Archive for Thursday, August 31, 2000

Claims filed against Haskell Foundation

Creditors claim debts of up to $25,000

August 31, 2000


A Lawrence couple and a Chicago-based computer firm have each filed notices in Douglas County District Court, claiming they are owed money by Haskell Foundation.

In its affidavit, CDW Government, a company that specializes in selling computers and software to government and education programs, says it's owed $6,729, a claim already upheld in Cook County, Ill., District Court.

Sherman and Janice Edmondson, Lawrence, filed a petition, noting they lent the foundation $25,000 last year with the understanding they would be paid back throughout five years with 10 percent interest.

According to the Edmondsons' Aug. 17 petition, the foundation has paid them only $1,027 since November 1999. In their petition, the Edmondsons agreed to delay foreclosing on the loan until April 30, 2001, a move intended to give the troubled foundation time to salvage its accounts.

Lawrence attorneys for the Edmondsons and CDW Government each declined comment. The Edmondsons also declined comment.

The Haskell Foundation is an independent, nonprofit agency created to raise money for Haskell Indian Nations University much like the Kansas University Endowment Association raises money for KU.

Last fall, HINU officials learned the foundation was more than $1 million in debt and that most of its fund-raising activities had ceased.

The foundation's director, Gerry Burd, abruptly resigned Dec. 10. His handling of the foundation's accounts is the subject of an FBI investigation.

Mike Scanlan, a Denver-based consultant hired to straighten out the foundation's accounts, said Edmondsons' and CDW Government's filings are "nothing out of the ordinary in a case like this" and will not derail efforts to save the foundation.

Scanlan and the foundation's board of trustees have put together a plan for overhauling the foundation's mission and administration. The HINU Board of Regents is expected to act on the plan during its Sept. 21 meeting.

If the plan is approved, the foundation will launch a major fund-raising campaign.

Scanlan has said the foundation owes its off-campus creditors about $500,000. It also owes HINU $500,000.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.