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Ex-Wikipedia staffer harpoons Wales over expenses

'All of my expenses were appropriate and fully accounted for'

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"Get a grip!"

Talking to The Associated Press, Devouard said Wales had been "slow in submitting receipts". But The AP also obtained an email message Devouard sent to other board members in which she said she had convinced The AP that "the money story was a no story" and then chastised Wales for his stance on the steak house tab.

"I find (it) tiring to see how you are constantly trying to rewrite the past," she wrote to Wales in the message. "Get a grip!"

Meanwhile, Wales told the The AP: "The board, the current executive director, the previous executive director, and independent auditors have reviewed our books and publicly agree that all of my expenses were appropriate and fully accounted for."

The Foundation's 2007 fiscal year ended on June 30, and an audit was delayed several months following the departure of COO Carolyn Doran, who had a criminal record in three states when she was hired last January, including convictions for petty larceny and passing bad checks.

The audit was originally due for release in the early fall, but didn't arrive until last month. During Wikimedia's 2007 fiscal year, when Wales often used speaking engagements to promote his for-profit Wikia venture, Foundation travel expenses jumped from $140,000 to $264,000. But in an email to TechCrunch, Wales said that he paid for all his travel expenses out of his own pocket.

Last month, director of communications Jay Walsh told The Register: "Jimmy is scrupulous. He's extremely careful and frugal about the Foundation's resources. We do pay for travel for board members, for Wikimania and for Board meetings - so he's entitled to do so, but we don't have any records relating to his travel in that [fiscal year]."

Danny Wool worked for the Wikimedia Foundation from October 2005 to March 2007. He also told us that facilitating Wales' personal speaking engagements was a significant part of his job. "I was paid to coordinate his travel schedule and to negotiate his speaking fees," Wool said. "I was paid $40,000 a year - my take home was $2,500 a month - and 60 per cent of my time was spent negotiating Jimmy's personal speaking fees."

According to Wool, when Wales gave speeches, the fee typically went to Wales himself. ®

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