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United Way Settles Suit by 2 Donors

From a Times Staff Writer

Trustees of United Way of Ventura County on Thursday approved dividing a $65,000 payment among more than 50 local charities to settle a lawsuit brought by two of the organization’s largest benefactors.

The agreement, worked out during a pretrial conference earlier this month, requires United Way to pay the money on a proportional basis to member agencies involved in its 2001-02 campaign.

Dennis and Allyson Weinberg of Camarillo sued United Way 13 months ago, accusing the group of giving local charities less than 85% of the more than $5 million it collected during that fundraising period as it had promised in campaign solicitations.

Dennis Weinberg, an executive vice president at WellPoint Health Networks and a former United Way board member, will receive documents by Jan. 15 detailing how much money each social service agency will receive as part of the settlement.

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Under the settlement, each side promised to say nothing negative about the agreement and to issue a joint news release saying the deal “represents a practical and good-faith solution.”

United Way, which admitted no liability or misconduct, said the payment would be covered by the board’s insurance policy.

“The settlement will cost the United Way nothing,” said Glenn Dickinson, the lawyer representing the charity.

He declined to say how much money the insurer has spent to date on the matter.

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