Lawyer to Sikh Temple shooting victim-- give the money back, then
(MILWAUKEE)-- A victim of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin shooting is raising questions about how money donated to help the victims is being spent by the temple. And it appears a lawyer representing the Sikh Temple is bristling at those questions.
Santokh Singh, shot twice in the shooting rampage, escaped to a neighboring house back in August of 2012. In a news conference Friday with his lawyer, Singh's interpreter Minder Sethi says two years later, as medical issues and medical bills pile up, he needs more help. "He is not being compensated by the Temple, he is surviving on his own," Sethi said.
Singh is not happy that relatives of deceased victims are getting more money than he is, he also wants to know why the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin spent $60-thousand on security cameras, when victims are still suffering.
Singh's lawyer, Christopher Stawski says that he has sent letters to the temple's president, and treasurer, and others seeking answers about how the temple is spending donations, "everything they have with respect to the donations they took in and the distribution of those donations," Stawski said. But Stawski says their letters have been ignored since April, so they took their grievances to the media.
Amar Kaleka, Sikh Temple of Wisconsin member, whose father died in the shooting rampage, called accusations of improper use of charity funds "hooey," and suggested that as a candidate for U-S Senate, he is being targeted because he is a public figure.
Late Friday afternoon, a possible breakthrough. In documents obtained by CBS58, lawyers for the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin relinquished IRS form 990 from 2013 to Singh's lawyer. The temple reported total revenue of $1,424,057 and total expenses of $1,346,315 for 2013. That tax form alone will not satisfy Singh though, whose lawyer wants to follow all the donation money.
In a letter that accompanied the tax form, E. Joseph Kershek with Kershek Law Offices declined to provide Singh with everything he asked for, and also offered him some advice. After noting that Singh received a $62-thousand gift from the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin for being a victim in the shooting, Kershek wrote that "If Mr. Singh is unhappy with the gift he received, he should return it to the Sikh Temple."