United Way DC chapter fires PR director

WASHINGTON: The PR director for the United Way of the National Capital Area has been "terminated," according to the organization.

WASHINGTON: The PR director for the United Way of the National Capital Area has been "terminated," according to the organization.

The departure of Anthony DeCristofaro came after The Washington Post started checking into a report that he proposed a complete review of how the group was spending its money.

The organization has been in the media spotlight recently because of issues related to how much money it raised and how much was given to charities, especially related to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

DeCristofaro, director of communications, marketing, and PR, had developed a plan to improve the organization's image. However, two insiders said his proposals - which included a call for an independent investigation - were not acted upon by Norman Taylor, who headed the chapter.

Shortly after the story on DeCristofaro's departure appeared in the Post, Taylor resigned and the organization announced it was starting reforms to assure that more money went to help those in need.

"Faster actions on my proposals would have averted the crisis that engulfed the organization this summer," DeCristofaro said.

When asked why DeCristofaro was no longer with the group, PR manager Lori Kline said, "In the interest of ensuring the privacy of our employees, we don't discuss personnel matters." In terms of a replacement, "there currently is a hiring and salary freeze, and the board is looking at restructuring the organization," she added.

In total, DeCristofaro had spent 15 years with the United Way. Immediately before joining the DC chapter a year ago, he was VP for marketing at United Way of America. He also was VP of media with Hill & Knowlton.

The DC chapter of the United Way is the nation's fourth largest, behind Seattle, New York, and Chicago.

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