Wyclef Jean in More Hot Water Over Charity Expenditures
Today is a big day for Wyclef Jean. His application to run for the presidency of Haiti is being officially approved or denied, yet with that attention comes more controversial news about loose expenditures coming from the songwriter's Yele-Haiti Foundation. According to a report from the New York Times, some $250,000 that went unaccounted for in 2006 was actually spent on "a frilly blouse and gilded epaulettes" that Clef used to pose next to a lion on a carnival float.
Yele refutes the report, which used a former employee named Sanjay Rawal as a source. "Mr. Rawal said he knew 'beyond a shadow of a doubt' that the $250,000 had covered expenses for the float, which incurred damages during the carnival," reads the Times' report. "A second individual with knowledge of the transaction, who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation, provided the same account of events."
The sources claim that the $250,000 was part of a $600,000 "donation" received from selling pictures of Angelina Jolie's "baby bump" to People Magazine. Yele says that most of that money was used for outreach and donation solicitation through a series of commercials.
At this point, most of the pluses and minuses of Wyclef's candidacy have been thoroughly disseminated in the press. It's now time for Haitian officials to decide. Despite some controversy, the ability of Jean to actually run in the election will come down to the rules. Election officials state that you need to be living in Haiti for five years in order to run, but the public is waiting to see how loosely those rules will be applied to the former Fugee's campaign to lead the country.