Koret Foundation Sued by Founder’s Widow

The Koret Foundation in San Francisco has been sued by board member Susan Koret, the widow of its founder, Joe Koret, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. In response, the foundation announced that it has filed a counter-suit seeking to remove Koret from its board, to which she has a lifetime appointment.

According to the Chronicle, Koret accuses Tad Taube, who announced earlier this year that he plans to step down as president of the foundation, of funneling much of its money to conservative causes that were in conflict with the foundation's core mission of helping the poor. She also claims that nearly 60 percent of the $64 million in grants the board approved between 2010 and 2012 were for projects tied to Taube and his supporters. Through the Koret Foundation and his own foundations, Taube, a Giving Pledge signatory, has directed several million dollars to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, which cost $200 million to build and is scheduled to open later this month.

According to the Chronicle, the suit asks that Taube repay millions of dollars to the foundation and that he and five other trustees be removed from its eight-person board.

In response, Koret Foundation CEO Jeffrey Farber issued a statement that calls Mrs. Koret's allegations "unwarranted and baseless," and notes that she voted in agreement with her fellow board members over 95 percent of the time, "including in favor of some of the grants she has publicly denounced in her lawsuit."

"I sincerely hope we can resolve these issues as soon as possible, and I want to assure you that the Koret Foundation continues operations as usual, despite this unwelcome challenge," Farber wrote. "We look forward to our continued philanthropic work in service to the community."

Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross. "Koret Foundation Sued by Founder’s Widow Over Charity’s Gifts." San Francisco Chronicle 10/08/2014. "An Open Letter to the Koret Foundation Community From Jeff Farber, CEO." Koret Foundation Statement 10/08/2014.