The Slatest

Wounded Warriors Execs Fired After Allegations of Wasteful Spending

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Gregory Gadson at the Wounded Warriors Soldier Ride in Washington, D.C., on April 28, 2010. Gadson, to be clear, is a veteran who was injured in Iraq in 2007, not one of the Wounded Warriors executives who was dismissed.

Larry Downing/Reuters

The CEO and COO of the Wounded Warrior Project have been dismissed by the group’s board in the wake of New York Times and CBS reports which alleged a culture of lavish and wasteful internal spending at the veterans’ charity. The nonprofit’s board announced the departures of CEO Steven Nardizzi and COO Al Giordano in a press release.

From a January Slate article:

The charity spends only 60 percent of its money on veterans’ services, a number that compares poorly, for example, to the American Veterans Charitable Service Trust’s 96 percent and Fisher House’s 91 percent. The watchdog site Charity Navigator awards Wounded Warriors only two out of a possible four stars for its financial practices, while the Charity Watch sitegives the group a “C” rating and does not list it among its top-rated veterans’ organizations.

The Wounded Warriors board hired a New York law firm in February 2016 to investigate allegations that Nardizzi and others were spending excessively on travel perks, public relations, and overhead costs. “The review confirmed many of the findings by The Times and CBS,” the Times writes, “and the board has instituted changes to limit first-class travel, track changes and increase accountability.”

CBS has posted the board’s press release; you can read it here.