Families of Chardon Victims Sue Charities Over Funds

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CHARDON, Ohio — Families of the three victims in the Chardon High School shootings are suing three charities, claiming the funds collected for the victims were not properly distributed.

The families of Daniel Parmertor, Russell King, Jr. and Demetrius Hewlin are suing the United Way of Greater Cleveland, the United Way of Geauga County, the Geauga County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services and the Charitable Law Section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, according to court documents.

The families claim $952,000 was donated to the trust, but the families have received less than $150,000, which is only about 15 percent of the collected donations. The families claim “the foremost purpose of the Trust, to benefit the families of the victims, has not been met.”

They families also say they have been informed that they will receive no further funds from the trust.

Fox 8 News has reached out to the defendants named in the lawsuit for comment.

In a statement released Tuesday evening, the United Way Services of Geauga County and United Way of Greater Cleveland said more than $417,000 has been distributed to six families for bills, home modifications, counseling and supportive services.

“United Way Services of Geauga County was asked by the community to help facilitate the Chardon Healing Fund and has donated its work. We are confident the fund has been managed in an open and transparent manner according to its guiding principles,” according to the statement. “All of the funds, 100 percent, are going to meet the charitable mission of the Chardon Healing Fund to benefit the healing of the community.”

To read the entire statement, click here.

Jim Adams, CEO of the Geauga County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services Tuesday afternoon said his organization “did not collect a dime for the trust and does not understand why it is being included in the lawsuit.”

This is a developing story. Stay with Fox 8 News and Fox8.com for more details.