Knievel complaint offers no specific accusations

2014-04-22T11:14:00Z 2014-04-22T20:50:04Z Knievel complaint offers no specific accusationsBy MIKE SMITH Montana Standard The Billings Gazette
April 22, 2014 11:14 am  • 

BUTTE — Kelly Knievel’s request for the Montana Attorney General’s Office to investigate the nonprofit group that staged Evel Knievel Days does not mean an inquiry will be made.

It does not mean one won’t be, either, but the AG’s office says it generally requires a specific complaint of wrongdoing along with credible evidence of the violation in order to begin an investigation.

Knievel said he believes Evel Knievel Week Inc. did not follow its own bylaws, but he has not made specific, public accusations regarding that or other matters involving the group that has staged the festival for many years.

Knievel provided The Montana Standard with a copy of a complaint and request for investigation he says he has mailed to the AG’s office. It is dated Sunday, April 20, but it does not contain specific claims of violations or wrongdoing.

He said the claims are a list of records requests he wants Chad Harrington to meet. Harrington is executive director of the group that recently cut ties with the festival amid disputes with Knievel and Butte-Silver Bow Chief Executive Matt Vincent.

Knievel, who owns the intellectual rights to his late father’s name, asks for records on the group’s assets and finances, notices of meetings, membership, rules, bylaw changes, insurance policies and tax records, among other things.

But the requests, and the “nonprofit organization complaint” he says he sent to the AG’s office, do not include specific claims.

Harrington said Sunday he did not want to respond to the list of requests Knievel made, but said he has no concerns about any investigation into the group’s operations. He said Knievel is only trying to dig something up to make the group look bad so he looks better.

The AG’s office said as of Monday afternoon, it had not received any complaint from Kelly Knievel.

In response to questions about how complaints are handled, the office said it logs and reviews all written complaints.

“When warranted and at our discretion, we may investigate the complaint by contacting the organization, requesting records, interviewing key individuals, etc.,” it said.

But it says generally, it requires a specific complaint with credible evidence of a violation to investigate.

It also said it generally does not have the resources to investigate complaints that do not spell out any specific violation.

Evel Knievel Week is registered with the Montana Secretary of State’s Office as a nonprofit public-benefit corporation with members, according to the office.

It said generally, if someone wants documents from such a group, the office informs them that members of the group have a right to request certain documents, including financial statements, and it points them to specific state laws.

But it said it does not “request corporate records on behalf of an individual.”

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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