Top two ‘Wounded Warrior Project’ executives fired amid spending reports

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Friday – The Wounded Warrior Project’s board of directors have fired its CEO and chief operations officer this week, after reports of massive over-spending and waste of donor contributions were made public.

CEO Steve Nardizzi and COO Al Giodano were released from the organization when news reports leaked that the Wounded Warrior Project used about 40 percent of it’s funds on overhead expenses and pays millions of dollars for luxurious meetings in exotic locations.

Data collected by Pro Publica shows the Wounded Warrior Project donations grew from $18 million a year in 2007 to $342 million a year ending in 2014.

Thursday – The top two executives of America’s largest veterans charity are out of a job Thursday.

The men in charge of the "Wounded Warriors Project" were fired Thursday because, critics say, they were spending money on lavish parties instead of directing the funds towards veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Wounded Warriors Project is the largest veterans charity in America, with its mission stated as follows: "To honor and empower wounded warriors," as in the 52,000 wounded from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and, in the process, raising over a billion dollars to help those wounded.

But a CBS News investigation revealed that the organization spent between 40 to 50 percent of that money on overhead expenses, including lavish parties, hotel and travel. 

The result, the firing of the organization’s top two executives, CEO Steven Nardizzi and Chief Operating Officer Al Giordano.

Army veteran Eric Millette took a job with the Wounded Warrior Project but quit in disgust after two years.

Former Wounded Warrior Project employees said the excessive spending began after Nardizzi took over as CEO in 2009 and they point to a 2014 meeting in Colorado Springs that cost $3 million.

Those employees said Nardizzi made grand entrances where he rappelled down the side of a building, came in on a Segway and even came in on a horse.

Fred and Dianne Kane raised over $300 thousand for the Wounded Warrior Project through golf tournaments they put on. Fred Kane said someone needed to speak out on behalf of those who have contributed money to the organization.

The Wounded Warrior Project board released a statement late Thursday that says in part certain allegations raised by the media are simply not accurate and that the organization remains committed to helping wounded war veterans.

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