Wyclef Jean Paying His Yele Haiti Staff Too Much?
Wyclef Jean is under fire yet again for the questionable handling of funds for his Yele Haiti Foundation, which provides emergency relief and other services for his native Haiti. According to recent tax filings, the former Fugee gave Zakiya Khatou-Chevassus — his personal assistant, the organization’s vice president and his rumored mistress — a whopping $42,000 increase in salary from 2008, bumping her overall annual income to $147,000 — nearly $15,000 more than the charity’s president.
The whopping salary is suspicious given Wyclef’s allotment of funds raised from those looking to donate to relief for Haiti following the earthquake in early 2010. The reports claim that Yele spent $336K on staff compensation, while it only spent $518,000 on programs based in Haiti.
Clef’s foundation came under fire soon after his call for donations in the wake of the natural disaster in Haiti, when TheSmokingGun.com released a report questioning his company’s financial practices. In 2006, he was said to have used $250,000 from the non-profit’s account to buy a costume worn on a carnival float.
“First, I freely admit that missteps were made when Yele was in its infancy as a grassroots movement before the earthquake,” he previously said in a statement to The BoomBox during his bid for the Haitian presidency. “They can knock me down, but I’ll always get back up. Especially if it’s in defense of my good name and my undying devotion to the country I love.”
Last month, ‘Clef released the 6-song EP ‘If I Were President: My Haitian Experience.’ The singer sat down with The BoomBox to talk about the new album, and writing a song a day.
Watch Wyclef Jean on The BoomBox