Timeline of Events
Jen Hubbard (CRIs Donor Communications Specialist), Joshua Scott [Book Store Manager], and two other concerned staff members meet off-site to review CRIs 990 form for 2001 (available at <www.guidestar.com>). Among their concerns are Hanks salary and expense accounts; the salary of his wife, Kathy (we didn't even know she worked for CRI!); and automobile and travel expenses.
The number of concerned staff members increases to six, and the group meets often to prayerfully consider the most biblical route to addressing the financial problems (Matthew 18). Individually, the group seeks pastoral counsel on ways to handle the situation. More information comes to light regarding misappropriated ministry funds (e.g., refurbishment expenses in the Hanegraaffs private home). CRI founder Walter Martins perspective on ministry spending comes to light in his cassette sermon, Modern Scribes and Pharisees. (You have got to hear this tape!)
December 12, 2002
Jen Hubbard first contacts the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability anonymously via email (without disclosing her identity or that of the ministry) to express the groups concerns. In response, the ECFA encourages the employees to come forward with specifics, saying that they will do a great service to the evangelical community by doing so.
Late December 2002
CRI researcher Thad Williams begins talks with Hanegraaffs right-hand research assistant about the financial integrity of the ministry. To convince him, Jen obtains copies of documents that substantiate the groups concerns.
January 14, 2003
Thad brings the financial documentation to his final meeting with Hanks research assistant. Hanks assistant proposes meeting with Hank or CRI executive vice president Paul Young on the following Monday (January 20th).
January 17, 2003
Unbeknownst to the group of concerned employees, Hank's assistant meets with Paul Young to discuss their financial concerns, but without any documentation.
January 18, 2003
Thad and the other concerned staff learn of the meeting between Hanks assistant and Paul Young. Hanks assistant withdraws his support for the group, stating that he had received sufficient assurances of the ministrys financial integrity, but assures Thad that no ones job is at risk. (Note: Hanks assistant explained that the Hanegraaffs extravagance was necessary to be a major player in Christian radio market, as they had to make tremendous amounts of money in order to rub shoulders with the upper classes.)
January 19, 2003
Jen Hubbard, Thad Williams, Joshua Scott, and the other concerned staff meet to discuss and pray about the most recent turn of events. They resolve to set up a meeting with Paul Young.
January 20, 2003
Jen Hubbard arrives at CRI to set up the proposed meeting and is summarily fired. Upon their arrival, Thad Williams, Joshua Scott, and the other concerned employees begin a meeting with operations manager John Stoffel to discuss the issues. Meanwhile, Jen Hubbard sends sample copies of the documentation to the ECFA, revealing her name and the identity of the ministry. The meeting with John Stoffel continues late into the day, to be reconvened the following day.
January 21, 2003
New meetings with John Stoffel, Thad Williams, and, briefly, Paul Young, take place all day. At the end of the day, one last meeting is held, with John Stoffel representing CRI and with the entire group of concerned employees present (minus Jen Hubbard). Promises are made that Hanks daughters car (paid for by CRI) will be sold, and that an internal group for financial accountability will be formed under Thad Williams. These changes are to occur within two weeks.
January 22, 2003
Joshua Scott resigns, not believing that internal correction would ever happen, because John Stoffel did not have the power to fulfill his promises. Another concerned staff member submits his two weeks notice. The remaining concerned employees stay on staff to give the executive department a chance to keep their promises.
Late January 2003
The executive staff continues to delay the establishment of the promised accountability group, being very non-responsive to the requests of the remaining concerned employees.
February 6, 2003
John Stoffel fires Thad Williams after hours, giving excessive tardiness as the reason. All concerned staff and ex-staff meet to discuss Thads termination and possible responses.
February 7, 2003
Four more concerned staff members resign to protest the unresponsiveness of the executive department and Thads termination. CRI sells Hanks $66,000 Lexus sports coupe, replacing it with a Lexus SUV. (We know he's driving the old Acura now, but why does his wife, Kathy, have a company van?)
The ECFA begins its preliminary investigation of CRI, with the help of two top Christian CPAs. Jen Hubbard continues to relay information to the ECFA regarding CRIs mishandling of donations.
Source: Please pray for the Christian Research Institute, CRIrestoration.com (no longer online)
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