Colorado Firefighter Calendar: DA investigates as founder Kirsten Hamling resigns (PHOTOS)
Fired Up for Kids, a charity founded by Kirsten Hamling that annually produces the hunk-laden Colorado Firefighter Calendar, is embroiled in controversy right now. The Denver District Attorney's Office confirms that it's got an investigation underway even as Hamling has resigned amid assertions that she diverted or mismanaged funds earmarked for The Children's Hospital.
Big pics below.
Among the reported allegations against Hamling: that some of the cash raised by calendar sales wound up in her personal account. Also, questions remain about whether Fired Up For Kids was granted nonprofit status, calling into question whether donors were misinformed about their largesse being tax deductible.
CBS4 has done much of the heavy lifting on this story, as indicated by the fact that correspondent Rick Sallinger was barred from a news conference at which attorneys for Hamling and two Fired Up principals proclaimed their clients' innocence. (The lawyers met with him separately.) A statement issued at the news conference read in part: "At no times did [Hamling] mismanage funds or withhold funds from The Children's Hospital and vehemently denies all allegations to the contrary."
Photo by Amber Taufen A photo from the calendar launch party in August.
In the meantime, Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney's Office, is trying her best to squelch misinformation that's swirling around the story.
"We received a complaint at the end of September alleging a possible theft of money from that group," she says, "so we have an investigation underway. The investigation, as I understand it, is that money was taken from that group. The nonprofit itself is not under investigation. It's the potential victim."
She adds that "we are not talking about any specific names of people in general" -- meaning that her office hasn't publicly described Hamling, or anyone else, as the focus of the investigation.
In the meantime, however, the growing scandal is an enormous distraction for a charity that's grown by leaps and bounds in recent years due in part to successful events such as its calendar launch party in August. Westword's Amber Taufen covered that bash for our Show and Tell blog. Look below and page down to see sample photos from the calendar, accompanied by Taufen's commentary. That's followed by CBS4's latest report.
December 2011: Charlie Karl
Charlie is a disabled vet with daughters; Erica asked him what advice about boys he'd give the little ones, and he responded: "Stay away!"
Calendar note: "Merry X-Mas, keep warm!"