Audit Report Shows Union Charity Co-Mingled Sandy Hook Funds

December 05, 2019 - 1:28 pm

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTIC and AP) - A preliminary state audit report released Thursday shows a union charity co-mingled more than $115,000 in philanthropic contributions intended to help first responders, educators and staff associated with the Sandy Hook school shooting.

Requested by the House Republican leader and a GOP state representative whose district includes Newtown, where the 2012 mass shooting took place, the auditors found the funds that were mixed with ``other sources'' rather than segregated in a separate bank account, making it unclear how the United Labor Agency spent the money. The ULA is controlled by the Connecticut AFL-CIO, a labor umbrella organization.

``There's a lot of money missing,'' said House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby.

The Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Program was created by the General Assembly in the aftermath of the mass shooting to help replenish lost wages for union and non-union workers as they dealt emotionally with the tragedy that left 26 dead, including 20 children. The ULA eventually became responsible for managing and disbursing funds.

In a written statement, Sal Luciano, the president of both the ULA and the Connecticut AFL-CIO, called the audit report ``a shock and a disappointment,'' and said the program ``has been made whole again.''