The Massachusetts Attorney General is expected to deal with the case of donations for 17 year old Myrto Papadomichelaki, as the Federation of Hellenic-American Societies of New England decided, during its official board plenum, to seek the Attorney Generals official opinion.
The reason was a new letter from the attorney of the hapless girl's mother, Maria Kotrotsos, which expresses the mistrust of the family towards the federation's intents, demanding the transfer of the collected money to an account to be selected by Ms Kotrotsos. In the event this fails to happen, the family has warned that they will "tender a report to the Massachusetts Attorney General, non-profit organization bureau, the IRS, and may even tender suit at a Massachusetts higher court."
"There are laws that bind us, and we must follow them. From the moment we issued an announcement, that we are collecting money for specific purposes (machinery, surgery, and medical expenses), then we are obligated to follow the decisions and send the money where it should go. Even if we wanted to act differently, we couldn't, since afterward, we would face lawsuits and judiciary officials. We made this clear from the beginning," stated Federation president Yannis Rammos, clarifying that the federation's is keen to finalize the process and make the money available for the 17 year old's medical needs.
Bank Account holds $128,369
As had been announced, during the meeting of the federation board, the relevant documents and details of the special bank account for Myrto were given for publication. According to the documents that came into the possession of New Greek TV, the available money has reached $128,369.11. the interest for Myrto is such, however, that although electronic collection for the cause has ceased, many persons, especially from the omogeneia are continuing to send in checks to the federation, which according to president Yannis Rammos are immediately deposited in the same account, originally set up by the federation for the cause.
"They send us money, and we deposit it. We've been around for many and have done many other things as well. Benefactors from the omogeneia have placed their money because they knew us. They knew our intentions. We're not fly by night operators.
Unbridgeable gap between federation and mother
The big thorn in this issue are the disrupted relations between the Federation and Myrto's mother, Maria Kotrotsos. Articles in the press, over the last few days, perhaps based on her positions, in conjunction with an aggressive article, circulating on the internet against her (which is attributed to a high-ranking federation member) have totally destroyed the climate, with the gap seeming unbridgeable.
In any event, despite the fact that certain basic "dark points" relayed by the press have been made clear, especially through the publication of bank account analytics, Ms Kotrotsos, through her latest letter demands that the federation stop managing the issue and to transfer all funds to her account. At the same time, she is asking the federation to not move a single dollar of the collected amount, and not even undertake payment of surgery expenses, for which it, allegedly, has been bound to do so. Furthermore, she is demanding that an official letter be sent to the Hellenic Cardiac Fund for Children, represented by Ms Bess Papas, informing them that it will not pay for the operation, which Ms Papas had personally vouchsafed. This, of course means that the Hellenic Cardiac Fund will be billed in full for the cost of Myrto's operation.
"No medical bill will be presented for payment, and no part of the collected money will be made available for any reason, until the Federation receives written instructions from Ms Kotrotsos," warns the letter.
The question is how the federation will deal with the issue of a legal level, if the two sides cannot come to an understanding, since if the conflict continues the money will "stagnate" as has happened in the past with money collected from philanthropy, in Greece, by various organizations .
New Greek TV contacted the federation's legal counsel, D. Ioannidis, who stressed that the demands expressed in the letter are under scrutiny and answer will be given soon.
"What we want is to be true to our donors and for the money to go towards the purpose it was collected for, to cover medical expenses. We are examining the issue to find the correct solution and within a few days we will be able to make known our position," stressed Mr Ioannidis.
At the same time during yesterday's board meeting there was intense displeasure for offensive articles coming from a specific e-publication. So far, it's not clear if there will any further reaction. In any event, the high tones of the last few days have caused agitation and disappointment, while Mr Rammos has noted that there is disappointment among teenagers that mobilized to make the whole thing happen.
"I have spoken with Sophia [Lampropoulou, who initiated the effort] and many other young people. They have surely become embittered over what is going on, but trust us," noted Mr Rammos.
However, the common line followed by all involved parties is to put an end to the whole affair, as in the midst of all these conflicts there is a person suffering, and it's none other than 17 year old Myrto.
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