September 27, 2015
By Suzanne Maher
RED CROSS REFUSES TO DISCLOSE HOW IT SPENT HURRICANE SANDY MONEY…..
One of the most well-known charities in the world is being intentionally elusive about how it spent more than $300 million in donations it received following Hurricane Sandy. The independent news group ProPublica says the American Red Cross has repeatedly denied requests to disclose details about how the Sandy money was spent, claiming that this information is a protected “trade secret.”
We filed a public records request for the information the Red Cross provided to the attorney general’s office,” wrote Justin Elliott for ProPublica. “An attorney from the firm’s New York office appealed to the attorney general to block disclosure of some of the Sandy information, citing the state Freedom of Information Law’s trade secret exemption.”
In its defense, the Red Cross claims that disclosing this information would breach the “internal and proprietary methodology and procedures” for how it conducts its fundraising activities. Writing on behalf of the charity, Gibson Dunn’s Gabrielle Levin explained in a recent letter to the attorney general’s office that full disclosure would result in confidential financial information getting leaked, as well as other private information about how the Red Cross conducts its everyday business activities.