Although the Institute for International Sport says it will still hold its March 10 program at Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford, a spokeswoman for the school says it is reviewing the program in light of the nonprofit's "business difficulties."
School Spokeswoman Sonya Adams also said that the school was reviewing the summer camps that institute Executive Director Daniel Doyle Jr. holds at the school, such as Camp Renaissance. Doyle, however, told the school Friday that his camps will now all be held at the American School for the Deaf.
The school for the deaf could not be reached for comment.
The camps are a for-profit business run by Doyle, a West Hartford resident, and are separate from the institute.
Doyle did coach the school's basketball team in the 1970s. In addition, five of his children attended Kingswood Oxford.
The institute, which runs programs like last year's World Scholar-Athlete Games and World Youth Peace Summit at the University of Hartford, is dealing with debt, failed real estate ventures and an audit over its use of a government grant.
A report regarding the audit, which had been forwarded to Rhode Island state police, was conducted by Rhode Island's acting auditor general. It says the institute could not account for how it spent the grant.
Doyle has said the institute intends to sell its two buildings on the University of Rhode Island campus to raise cash. He also said that his family has made a large financial commitment to the institute.
The University of Rhode Island announced Friday it will conduct its own independent investigation of transactions between the university and the institute. The institute owes the school $380,000. URI is also exploring various legal avenues for the repayment of the debt.
In addition to financial problems, the former chief executive officer of Hasbro Inc. has raised questions regarding a signature on a document filed with the Rhode Island secretary of state. Alan Hassenfeld says he never signed the 2009 annual report form despite the fact that his signature is on the document. He also says he never served on the institute's board of directors, although the document lists him as chair.
"We agree that the signature on the 2009 annual report does not appear to be Alan Hassenfeld's, nor was he ever chair of the Institute for International Sport," a statement issued by a Rhode Island public relations firm Friday states. "Dan Doyle had nothing to do with this document. This would have been handled on a staff level in 2009."
The March 10 event is called the Butterworth-Woodiel Peace Lecture and Symposium after social activist Mims Butterworth of West Hartford and the late Flo Woodiel, who was chairwoman of West Hartford Citizens for Peace and Justice.
"All things are go," said Paz Magat, the institute's deputy director, on Friday.
State Sen. Beth Bye, who is expected to run a panel discussion about the role of women in peace at the event, said she has her doubts.
"My guess is that it's not going to go on," Bye said. "I certainly have a lot of concerns. I'm just waiting."
U.S. Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., is also expected to run a panel discussion March 10. Larson has publicly applauded the institute's efforts to promote world peace.
"Obviously I am saddened by the financial situation that the Institute of International Sport and Dan Doyle have found themselves in," he said in a prepared statement. "Dan's hard work, enthusiasm and vision for the games are well intended.
As more information regarding the institute's finances are made public, Rhode Island philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein said he just shakes his head.
"They just learned what I found out years ago," he said. "[The institute] promised the moon."
Like Hassenfeld, Feinstein said he has also given the institute money over the years. His first gift for $1 million was used to construct the institute's first — and only finished — building on the University of Rhode Island campus. The building, which bears the Feinstein name, opened in 1999.
A written agreement shows that the institute agreed to dedicate space for activities relating to the Feinstein Foundation. It also agreed to have all participants in the world games complete a community service project prior to their arrival.
The institute did not follow through on either provision, Feinstein said.
Through a public relations firm, Doyle declined to comment.
By the time he learned about the breach of agreement, Feinstein had already made a second, $80,000 donation to the institute. The agreement between the institute and Feinstein states that if provisions were broken, the institute would return $300,000 to the foundation. Feinstein says he has never been reimbursed, but added that he will not pursue legal action.
"When you go after a loser who cheats you, it usually costs more money in lawyer fees," he said.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times