SAINT PAUL, Minn. (Legal Newsline) - Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson announced an assurance of discontinuance on Tuesday with a Minnesota charitable organization that allegedly engaged in the misuse of charitable assets.
Employees of The Wildcat Sanctuary, an organization that provides shelter and care for more than 100 wildcats, filed complaints with the organization's board of directors, alleging financial impropriety by TWS founder Tammy Thies. After Thies was placed on paid administrative leave for several months, she was reinstated as executive director in October.
Swanson's office learned of the alleged problems at TWS in November and began an inquiry.
Swanson alleged that Thies used TWS donor funds for personal expenses, including books, clothing, movies, hair removal products and a personal healthcare item. Thies also allegedly used TWS funds to pay for property taxes, property improvements, utility bills, a cellular phone and vehicle expenses.
TWS allegedly lacked adequate policies and procedures to protect its charitable assets from misuse.
Under the terms of the assurance of discontinuance, TWS must recruit and elect at least three additional members to its board who are approved by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, review and evaluate all expenses to determine their reasonableness and propriety and appoint a third-party monitor to provide guidance and instruction to the organization's board.
Within 60 days of executing the agreement, TWS must undertake a comprehensive review to determine the amount of TWS funds allegedly spent by Thies. If she refuses to pay back TWS for the alleged expenditures, TWS must sever its relationship with Thies.