Charity 'War' No 1-Man Fight

This is in reference to your article of Aug. 11, "The War of the Charities." As one of the principal players in that "war," there are several inaccuracies I would like to correct.

First of all, I should have been named as the source of the deposition taken of Lois Lee by the D.A.'s office in their criminal investigation. I obtained it by filing under the California Public Records Act as a victim.

Regarding statements that Thursday's Child is a "one-man" operation, Thursday's Child is a federally recognized, not-for-profit corporation, with a board of directors, volunteers and no paid staff.

As for Robert Burns' "warning" that I was not to bill my full rent and utilities to Thursday's Child, it is a premise which borders on the absurd. Because of interference from Children of the Night, much of which is admitted to in the deposition, total contributions have been under $5,000 for the past nine years. Where could any rent or utilities be billed from?

Lee's and Children of the Night's lawsuit against me for "harassing," "verbally threatening" and attempting to "extort money" from her or her organization is not only baseless, but, according to our attorneys, an abuse of process; that is, an attempt to confuse the issue of our suit against them.

Finally, the gun alluded to was witnessed by four persons: my two volunteers and the two parking lot attendants, the latter describing it as a "strange-looking gun." One of my volunteers, a former police officer, more accurately described it as an automatic with a silencer.

DON AUSTEN

West Hills

Austen wrote as the founder of Thursday's Child.

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