How much is too much for the director of a non-profit organization to make? What if we told you that State Representative Roy Burrell, who wants to be Shreveport Mayor, has pocketed about 70 percent of his non-profit group's money in recent years? That same group gets much of its money from taxpayers.
It's called ICE -- Inner City Entrepreneur Institute. Its annual two-week BizCamp is now underway for teenagers. The camp aims to mold them into future business owners. And money makers could learn a lot from the managing director for ICE.
We obtained financial records going back to 2004 showing that Burrell has rolled in about $50,000 for himself almost every year.
In years 2009, 2011 and 2012, Burrell's pay amounted to an average of 70% of ICE's income.
In 2007 and 2008, Burrell and ICE failed to raise enough money to meet expenses. Yet Burrell was still paid $50,400 both years.
Much of ICE's money comes from taxpayers. Since 2005, the city of Shreveport has given ICE a total of $315,000. And since 2006, the Caddo Parish Commission has given a total of $112,000.
Burrell's payments from ICE go through his consulting business, Best Communications and Management Services.
The only comment Burrell gave for the record here was over the phone. He said, "This is a matter for the ICE board of directors. I'm a contractor for them. I don't want to put my relationship with them in jeopardy by speaking out of turn."
In a statement from ICE, group president Dan Wimberly said, "We find no inadequacies or inconsistencies in our financial arrangements with Mr. Burrell and our board unequivocally supports his efforts. He has been an excellent example of leadership and program development for our organization."
Another ICE board member we reached, Earnestine Smith, says she does not believe Burrell's pay is excessive.
To give you some perspective, we checked with the group Charity Navigator. They give charities that spend more than 30 percent on all of their administrative costs a grade of zero. But for the years 2004 through 2012, records show Burrell himself was paid an average of more than 51.7%.
In its first ten years, ICE claims that it's graduated 500 teenagers from its BizCamps. They estimate that less than 20% of them go on to business education and/or business ownership.