NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Thursday afternoon, driver Ken Werth was making the rounds. He collects clothing and household items for an organization called the ARC of Davidson County.
The charity helps people who have special needs.
Now, J & I Advisory, the company that ARC contracts with for pick-ups, faces a $247,500 fine in civil penalties for violating the Tennessee Charitable Solicitations Act.
Investigators received a complaint from someone who made a donation of clothing and household items to the ARC.
While shopping at a thrift store on Charlotte Avenue in Nashville, the donor saw items for sale that they had donated. They said if they had known the items would have ended up in a retail store, they would not have made the donation.
The company’s general manager, Thomas Brostowin, told News 2 J & I Advisory was not trying to deceive anyone and believe the situation is a misunderstanding.
“We have nothing to hide and we are not taking donations from people with them thinking that it goes to a family. I don’t want people to think their donations, whether it be a bag of clothes or a sofa or a maliciousness house hold items, would not go to good use because every sale we make, a portion goes the are ARC,” explained Brostowin.
Chief Executive officer with the ARC Sheila Moore sent News 2 the following statement:
“The Arc has contracted with J&I Advisory for more than 25 years to pick up used clothing and household items. The pickup service has successfully added needed funds to our budget year after year. We’ve put the funds to good use and expanded our programs and services to help thousands of people with disabilities and their families over the years.”
Investigators say J& I Advisory misled customers by not properly disclosing that they are a paid solicitor working on the ARC’s behalf.
The company said it did not intentionally mislead donors.
Meanwhile, lawyers for J & I Advisory plan to repeal the penalty.