Feed The Children Faces Internal Conflict

Tuesday, February 24th 2009, 8:18 am
By: News On 6

By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK  -- A battle over board members has taken the Oklahoma City-based charity Feed The Children to the courtroom.

Larry Jones founded the organization 30 years ago, but his days could be numbered after he allegedly urged that the board of directors be fired in December.

The organization provides food, medicine and clothing for the needy worldwide, and Jones was often times the face of the organization.

"We literally pray that somewhere down the road, for the day when the national government will wake up to the fact we have a problem right there at home," Jones said.

According to court documents, five members of the board of directors claim they were ousted by Jones once he found they were about to remove him as president and send him on a sabbatical. The documents revealed an on-going investigation surrounding mismanagement of FTC funds and Jones' son.

The documents say that "seeing that his free wheeling dominance over FTC were numbered."

Jones decided to "pack the board" in his favor.

The documents, filed in Oklahoma County District Court, also show Jones called a meeting on December 4 at the Deep Fork Grill that was supposed to be about his retirement, but only Jones and two other board members showed up.

Jones later produced other members waiting in the restaurant who he wanted to put on the board.

The next day, the board of directors was fired and the new board took over.

The ousted board sued claiming they were wrongly removed, and ultimately the judge agreed.

"Obviously, based on the arguments made we're not that particularly pleased because certain legal issues prevent the court from taking the action it's been taking," Jones' attorney Leif Swedlow said.

The judge reinstated the board; however, the board cannot currently make any decisions on Jones.

The next court hearing is scheduled for March 5. The judge may decide at that time if the board can make changes.

Last year, Feed the Children took in over $1 billion in donations.