HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and Consumer Protection Commissioner William Rubenstein announced Thursday they were seeking additional information about dozens of charities related to the shooting deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Jepsen and Rubenstein sent letters with a short survey to 69 charities registered with the Department of Consumer Protection or that publicly identified as having accepted donations related to the Sandy Hook tragedy when 20 children and six adults were killed Dec. 14. The letter seeks information about the amount of money raised and the intended charitable purposes of the funds.
"Consistent with the responsibilities to oversee charitable activities and fundraising in Connecticut, we are requesting information about your organization's fundraising and charitable efforts," Jepsen and Rubenstein said. "In all circumstances, donors need information to help make informed giving decisions and to understand the purposes for which their gifts will be used. This is particularly important - and challenging - when so much money is being raised so quickly."
News media estimates more than $15 million has been donated to charities related to Sandy Hook since the shooting.
"This is a voluntary request for information, but we strongly urge you to participate so this important information can be provided, through our websites or other means, to the giving public," Jepsen and Rubenstein said.
The survey requests information on the approximate amount of money raised, how the money will be used, how much the organization has spent and the services it has provided, how much the organization has given to Sandy Hook-related businesses, families or individuals, if the organization has plans on how to use surplus funds, and other related questions.
The charities were asked to respond with the compiled information by April 12. The recipients of the letters were advised that additional information would be requested at a later time about disbursements and steps to prevent fraud and misuse of the resources.
Jepsen and Rubenstein said they would post the survey results on their respective websites to promote transparency. The officials cautioned that posting the information online did not represent an endorsement of the charity by their agencies or the state.