An ESPN “Outside the Lines” investigation raises questions about how Patricia Driscoll, ex-girlfriend of Kurt Busch, led the Armed Forces Foundation as its president.
ESPN’s report cites:
- Documents that show that the Armed Forces Foundation was repeatedly used as a bank to lend money for or pay various personal expenses, including bills for a private company Driscoll owns.
- The nonprofit’s federal tax filings and audit reports in some instances fail to match, resulting in unexplained discrepancies about the amount of cash on hand, the mismatches totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Until May 4, the foundation paid Driscoll and another person $96,000 in annual rent of its headquarters, a building they co-owned, which the report states is operating in apparent violation of Washington residence guidelines.
- The foundation claims it spends 95 cents of every dollar raised on directly supporting service members and their families, but analysis of documents by ESPN showed the figure was closer to 72 cents.
- ESPN learned Thursday that a representative of a former foundation employee contacted the FBI in Washington, alleging that Driscoll broke laws while running the foundation. ESPN reports that in addition to providing the FBI documents in support of the claims, the former employee plans to file a federal whistleblower complaint against Driscoll with the Internal Revenue Service.
ESPN reported that Driscoll declined comment though a spokesperson.
Hugh Webster, a foundation board member who is general counsel and a finance committee member defended Driscoll, stating: “Our board, as well as our executive and finance committees, put in place internal controls with consultation with our outside accountants and auditors, to uphold in every way our responsibility to the organization, its donors and partners, and most importantly the veterans and their families we serve. Furthermore, in accordance with our policies and procedures, an outside audit firm reviews our accounting to ensure full compliance. We are confident in our systems and controls, even as we seek to constantly improve, which is inherent in the culture of any good organization.”
Driscoll was granted a protective order against Busch in February by a Kent County (Del.) Family Court Commissioner for an incident that took place in Busch’s motorhome in Sept. 2014 at Dover International Speedway. NASCAR suspended Busch after the commissioner’s decision. Busch eventually sat out three races before he was allowed to return. The Delaware Department of Justice decided not to pursue domestic abuse charges against Busch in March.