AIDS Healthcare Foundation reinstated funding to a Lousiana AIDS Advocacy Network event last week, after seemingly pulling funding over current litigation against AHF by one of LAAN’s event organizers, Jack Carrel, according to My Fabulous Disease.
Carrel, a former manager at AHF, brought a whistleblower case against the Los Angeles-based nonprofit earlier this month along with two other former managers. In the complaint filed with the federal court in the District of South Florida, they alleged AHF participated in kickbacks through its Linkage to Care Program.
Shortly after, filing, Carrel told reporters AHF had pulled out of an event he helped organize. AHF was supposed to provide bus transportation for HIV-positive people to reach Baton Rouge for a meeting with state legislatures. Carrel shared emails and voicemail messages with Mark S. King of My Fabulous Disease that told Carrel AHF would not be participating in the event.
Sorry, unfortunately at this time we, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, cannot participate in the lobby day scheduled for May 19, 2015, nor can we provide monetary resources for transportation, for May 18, 2015 and May 19, 2015. Thanks and sorry for any inconveniences.
Sounds pretty definitive. And all official-sounding and stuff. It seems unlikely the staffer was having a psychic break when she sent it. And in case there was any doubt, the AHF staffer also left Carrel a voice message in which she explicitly spelled out why AHF was pulling the funds.
“… unfortunately, uh, we are unable to fund the buses due to your name being on a lawsuit against AHF and it breaks my heart but, um, sorry but we cannot uh, continue to, to do that…”
However, AHF claims that was never the case, stating in another email to LAAN Chair Dorian-gray Alexander that AHF would participate in the event and that they had never pulled their funding from LAAN.
This email will confirm that AHF NEVER reversed its position to support LAAN by providing transportation to this event. In point of fact, (AHF staffer) has continued working to reserve the bus and I believe she has communicated all of these details to LAAN. I’m really not sure what more we can do to reassure you that we are committed to supporting LAAN on this issue, but if there is something more please let me know. But please also accept this email as a commitment that AHF is providing transportation for LAAN to the event (…)
The reinstated funding comes as a relief, after the loss had sent LAAN scrambling for funding, starting a GoFundMe page which raised $1,600. That money will now go to food and lodging for those attending the meeting.