Boy Scouts accused of hiding abuse to protect bottom line

Investigation: scouting is billion dollar business

SAN DIEGO - A former Boy Scout of America employee tells Team 10 the youth organization concealed allegations of sexual abuse against scouts to protect the organization's bottom line.

"They're greedy, they're just greedy," said former professional scout Rick Pushies. "I do not understand why these men have to make so much money."

Pushies was officially asked to leave his position with the Los Padres Council after he disclosed he suffered from depression. Pushies and other professional scouts have petitioned for his reinstatement claiming he was asked to leave because he raised questions about how much money the Boy Scouts of America was collecting. Pushies was asked to leave scouting six months after receiving the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award a local council can grant.

Pushies said his questions about finances came as the Scouts kept detailed files of sexual abuse inside the organization.

"It was written policy that you keep your mouth shut, we'll keep our mouth shut," Pushies said, referring to a 1972 Scout memo.

Team 10 reported the memo detailed how Scout executives were to handle allegations of sexual abuse.

Many of those abuse allegations are now public, exposed by Team 10's investigation last summer and in dozens of lawsuits littering courtroom across the country.

"Certainly there is pressure on scout executives, as I understand it, to make sure membership levels stay up," said Santa Barbara attorney Tim Hale.

Hale sued the Scouts after his client was sexually abused by convicted sex offender Al Stein.

Stein is one of hundreds of convicted sex offenders who the Scouts suspected of molesting children but never reported to police, according to the Scouts' ineligible volunteer files.

"Membership means money," Pushies said.

The average Scout executive, the people responsible for reporting allegations of abuse to the national organization, earn an average of $130,000 a year, according to 990s filed by the BSA.

San Diego's Scout executive earned $224,000 in 2011.

The Boy Scouts and the former CEO have denied money had anything to do with how abuse allegations were handled.

"Confidentiality encourages prompt reporting of questionable behavior," Bob Mazucca said in a pre-recorded statement released on YouTube.

Team 10 found American scouting is a billion-dollar business. According to the BSA's most recent tax filings the scouts held $1.23 billion in assets in 2011.

Click here to see the filing

The filings show the top 13 national Scout executives earned nearly $6.5 million in salary and benefits while spending $81,000 on first class air travel in 2011.

According to tax documents, the organization had $60 million worth of art hanging in its Texas headquarters in 2011 -- the same art was worth $45 million in 2010.

The records also show in 2011 Mazucca, the chief Scout executive at the time, earned $981,000 -- nearly twice his counterpart at the Girl Scouts who earned $517,000.

In response to questions about BSA executive compensation the Boy Scouts' national spokesman issued the following statement to Team 10:

"Compensation at local councils is set by the Compensation Committees of the local and national boards respectively. These committees are comprised of executive board members who are in senior management positions for their companies and who know the local labor markets. Their expertise in understanding local wage and benefit scales help to keep BSA employee compensation in line with the rest of the community.

At the national level, the BSA's top management compensation is authorized by the Executive Board, an all-volunteer group. Detailed study and analysis is assigned by the Executive Board to its Management Compensation Review Committee, comprising the volunteer President, Executive Vice President & Treasurer. The Management Compensation Review Committee engages third-party executive compensation specialists to make recommendations regarding competitive compensation arrangements for like services in other organizations.

The BSA is one of the largest youth serving organizations in America. The position of Chief Scout Executive for the BSA includes providing leadership for nearly 300 local Boy Scout councils who serve approximately 4 million youth members and participants and more than 1 million adult volunteers. In addition, these positions provide leadership to nearly 7,000 employees in all 50 states and in three international Boy Scout council offices."

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