The two top executives of the Wounded Warrior Project — among the largest veterans charities in the country — were fired Thursday after an investigation into accusations of lavish spending on parties, hotel and travel, CBS News reported.
Wounded Warrior Project’s CEO, Steven Nardizzi, and COO, Al Giordano, were fired by the charity’s board amid criticisms about how it spends more than $800 million raised in donations in the past four years, CBS News reported.
The charity’s board of directors made their decision after a meeting in New York City, where they received preliminary results of a financial and policy audit, sources told CBS News.
The charity came under fire after an earlier CBS News investigation in January revealed large amounts of spending on administration, meetings, and travel.
Army Staff Sergeant Erick Millette, who returned from Iraq in 2006 with a bronze star and a purple heart, told CBS News at the time he admired the charity’s work and took a job with the group in 2014 but quit after two years.
“Their mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors, but what the public doesn’t see is how they spend their money,” he said.
Millette said he witnessed lavish spending on staff, with big “catered” parties.
“Going to a nice fancy restaurant is not team building. Staying at a lavish hotel at the beach here in Jacksonville, and requiring staff that lives in the area to stay at the hotel is not team building,” he told CBS News.
According to the charity’s tax forms obtained by CBS News, spending on conferences and meetings went from $1.7 million in 2010, to $26 million in 2014, which is the same amount the group spends on combat stress recovery.
Read more: Fox News