Helping A Hero organization accused of non-transparent finances

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - The group is named Helping A Hero but a candidate for Harris County district attorney says the organization's finances show the group is keeping more money than it should.

Kim Ogg had her news conference just across the street from the criminal courthouse and the office of the district attorney. She says something needs to be done now to investigate Helping A Hero.

Helping A Hero says its goal is to help wounded veterans, but Ogg says the group helps itself.

"We have questions for Helping a Hero.  Where is the money?" Ogg said.

She says the organization has raised millions of dollars to help disabled veterans. But she says the group's finances are not transparent.  She wants Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, her political opponent, to investigate.

"We will not stop asking questions. We will not stop demanding that this DA do her job or allow somebody that can do it to do it for her," Ogg said.

On the stage with Ogg were several wounded veterans also asking for an investigation. Retired Marine Sergeant Eddie Wright says he served on the board.

"One of the reasons I resigned in protest from the board of Helping A Hero was that we couldn't get any answers regarding any of the financials," said Wright.

Helping A Hero released a statement, which read in part, "The accusations made today by a political candidate against helping a hero are completely baseless. Helping A Hero has stayed true to its mission of helping disabled veterans and is proud of its many accomplishments."

Ogg says the saying may be "the pen is mightier than the sword," but given the wounded heroes, she says that may not be true.  But Ogg says the DA can use her pen to sign a grand jury subpoena.

The district attorney says the office begins a criminal investigation when someone files a complaint of criminal conduct, in writing, with supporting evidence.

Anderson said, "With respect to Helping A Hero, this office expedited the release of their financial information to the public. It is likely that this information would not have been available to the affected veterans without our assistance."

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