Money Flows To Disability Organization Heads Despite Budget Cuts
Amid drastic funding cuts to services for people with developmental disabilities, one California couple is living lavishly off millions of dollars in earnings from a state-funded nonprofit they run which serves this population.
Edward and Marcia Dawson took home more than $7 million in the last five years from Social Vocational Services, a nonprofit they run that provides group homes, job training and other services to Californians with developmental disabilities. The organization is primarily funded through government money.
Despite the public service mission of the organization, the Dawsons take home far more in compensation each year than any other heads of similar organizations in the state, even when compared to those with more clients. In addition to traditional salaries, the couple has also profited from renting properties and vehicles to SVS.
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There are no government imposed limits on salaries for executives like the Dawsons, but they must merely be deemed “reasonable.” The couple’s compensation did raise red flags with the state of California, leading to a 2004 settlement, but their pay continued to increase subsequently.
SVS board members say that the Dawsons’ compensation is appropriate for the expertise they provide. But critics wonder how they continue to earn so much money even as other nonprofits relying on state funds are hurting deeply from cuts, reports The Los Angeles Times. To read more click here.