Peter Gerard hires lawyer, repays a principle

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1997:

WASHINGTON D.C.––Under pressure from
Friends of Animals and other sponsors to provide a full
accounting of funds received and spent in connection with the
June 1996 World Animal Awareness Week and March for the
Animals, National Alliance for Animals executive director
Peter Gerard, formerly known as Peter Linck, recently
retained attorney Roger Galvin, of Rockville, Maryland, to
tell FoA that as of January 8, “the audit is not completed yet,”
and to argue that FoA “received more benefits in terms of participation
and publicity than its $5,000 contribution warranted.”
The March, crowning the week of activities, drew
just 3,000 participants according to the official National Parks
Service count––3% of the 100,000 Gerard’s fundraising letters
predicted would attend, and 21,000 fewer than the crowd at a
similar march that Gerard coordinated in 1990.

After the 1996 march, FoA demanded a refund of
sponsorship, arguing that Gerard failed to adequately promote
World Animal Awareness Week, and inquired about apparent
significant discrepancies in related financial statements. The
FoA inquires have been echoed by at least two of the other
World Animal Awareness Week sponsors. As ANIMAL
PEOPLE pointed out in September 1996, the World Animal
Awareness Week program thanked donors for contributions
which according to the sponsorship schedule should have
totalled at least $754,925. Together with ticket sales revenue,
which Gerard in a September 3 statement said came to
$205,419, Gerard according to his own claims should have
collected cash or in-kind gifts of goods and services totalling a
minimum of $960,344. However, in the September 3 statement
Gerard acknowledged receiving only $376,157 in cash,
and provided no accounting of in-kind contributions.
Meanwhile, in April 1996, still predicting a crowd
of 100,000, Gerard distributed an estimated World Animal
Awareness Week budget of $218,000 plus an unspecified
amount for publicity. His September 3 statement claimed cash
outlay of $674,339, including $13,320 for publicity.
ANIMAL PEOPLE has received copies of correspondence
indicating that Gerard on November 25 repaid
$114,000 in two separate checks to one World Animal
Awareness Week creditor, Elephant Alliance president
Florence Lambert, who had investigated legal action against
Gerard. Among the items in hand are a letter from Lambert of
September 30, making a loan of $5,000 to the National
Alliance for Animals “to help with your campaign to stop the
horrible trade in nonhuman primates,” an issue in conection
with which ANIMAL PEOPLE has discovered no subsequent
record of significant NAA activity. In a letter of March 30,
1995, Gerard instructed Lambert as to how she should write
her will to leave her estate to the National Alliance for
Animals. In an undated letter, Gerard wrote to Lambert, by
hand, “We will never be able to thank you enough for helping
us purchase such a wonderful car.” A letter from Gerard to
Lambert dated May 13, 1996, was headed to “Mom,” thanking
her for “always being there” to “bail me out of a financial
crisis.” Gerard acknowledged receipt of a loan from Lambert
of $20,000 in an undated letter apparently written during midOctober
1996, and apparently raised her suspicion with a letter
dated October 8, 1996, in in which he asked her to approach
her former husband on his behalf, seeking a loan of $135,000
to be used in paying off his house mortgage.
Gerard’s October 8 letter to Lambert also included a
eyebrow-raiser for those who remember that the ancestor of
NAA was called the National Alliance for Animal Legislation,
and that the stated purpose of the 1990 March for the Animals
was to support passage of four bills then before Congress.
“Unfortunately,” Gerard wrote, “many of the major groups in
our movement are run by liberals who are more intent on wasting
precious public funds on electing incompetent bleedinghearts
than doing the more fundamental and important foundational
work of educating an innocent citizenry.”

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