Plywood fundraiser website taken down
STAFF REPORT | September 01,2014
A Vermont State Police detective said Friday he has been asked to investigate the activities of a social media site whose stated intention is to help employees whose jobs were lost when Rutland Plywood burned to the ground.
The Rutland Plywood Family Fund, created as a Facebook community site on the day of the fire, invited victims of the fires and those who want to donate money or goods to them to contact the administrator of the site. The administrator, who was interviewed by phone earlier this week but did not give his name other than “Alex,” said he never handled the money or items that were donated — only facilitating the meeting between the donors and victims.
But after the management at Rutland Plywood raised concerns about the fundraising effort, which they said they weren’t affiliated with and were unaware of until it was stumbled upon, the attorney general’s office asked state police in Rutland to investigate the site.
Detective Sgt. Albert Abdelnour said Friday he reached out to the administrator of the site Friday but was told the site was shutting down.
“This site it’s no longer to be used. There wasn’t enough people engaged and to many people that we couldn’t verify worked at Rutland wood to keep open,” the administrator wrote back to Abdelnour. “Also I’m aware if my rights, thus allowing me to not engage in any conversation with you. As I appreciate your concern, I think this is far as this conversation will lead.”
The fundraising site had been removed from Facebook by Friday afternoon.
Abdelnour asked that anyone who made donations using the site to contact him at 773-9101.