W.Va. Nonprofit’s Reimbursements 11 Times Higher Than Premiums

May 13, 2006

A Fairmont, W.Va. nonprofit group paid $47,334 in premiums to a state-run insurance agency over two years and was reimbursed more than 11 times that amount for three claims, state documents show.

The bulk of the reimbursements was $498,678 paid by the state Board of Risk and Insurance Management to the Vandalia Heritage Foundation for a fire at the B&O train station in Grafton, according to the state Auditors Office.

The claims, received between November 2003 and February 2004, also include $9,155 for vehicle damage to the train station and $29,866 for damage to apartment property that Vandalia maintains in Wheeling.

The nonprofit group is among several whose federal appropriations earmarked by Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., have been questioned by a conservative ethics watchdog group, the National Legal and Policy Center.

President and CEO Laura Kurtz Kuhns has said Vandalia has been advised to expect a request for information from the FBI.

BRIM Executive Director Chuck Jones said Vandalia requested to have the policy canceled in 2004. Jones said Vandalia’s premium had increased, but it wasn’t known if that was the reason.

Kuhns didn’t immediately return a telephone message Thursday.

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