Report: Wounded Warrior Project axes 2 top execs

Posted at 4:16 PM, Mar 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 21:53:10-05

Two top executives for the Wounded Warrior Project have been fired in light of accusations the charity that assists injured military veterans has been mismanaging donations.

According to CBS News, the Wounded Warrior Project's board of directors met on Thursday and made the decision to fire CEO Steven Nardizzi and COO Al Giordano.

Earlier this year, a CBS News investigation looked into how the organization was using money being donated -- hundreds of millions of dollars each year -- and found that just 60 percent of the Wounded Warrior Project's budget is going to injured veterans in need.

RELATED: Wounded Warrior Project accused of wasting donation money

According to the investigation, some former employees claimed the charity spends a large amount of money on employee perks, such as travel, conferences, hotels and dinners.

The Wounded Warrior Project's tax forms show conference spending went from $1.7 million in 2010 to $26 million in 2014 -- about the same amount spent on combat stress recovery, the group's top program.

"Donors don't want you to have a $2,500 bar tab. Donors don't want you to fly every staff member once a year to some five-star resort and whoop it up and call it team building," a former employee told CBS.

After the report aired, the organization wrote a letter to CBS stating that they were outraged over the contents of the report.

The group called on CBS to correct its story, issue a retraction and an apology to the veterans and their families.

Nick Kraus is one of the three people who started the charity back in 2004. He was in San Diego last week for the group's Soldier Ride, which helps wounded vets heal together.

He said he does not handle finances but stands behind what they do. He said the CBS report is incorrect, and he added that their finances are public record.

Charity Navigator gives them three of four stars.

A wounded vet involved in the organization told 10News he has not seen any funds misspent, and said the organization helped pull him out of a dark place.