NARAS’ Greene cleared

Exec committee gives CEO vote of confidence

HOLLYWOOD — Michael Greene, CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, has been cleared of any wrongdoing in his oversight of the trade group’s charitable efforts and has been given a unanimous vote of confidence by its exec committee.

Also, a study conducted by independent accounting firm Tate & Tyron, which examined NARAS’ finances, found that the group’s charity MusiCares spent 67% of its revenues for charitable purposes during its 1995-1996 fiscal year.

The firm was hired by NARAS –which is best known for its presentation of the Grammy Awards but also operates several outreach programs — to independently verify conclusions reached earlier this year by the org’s accountants, Deloitte & Touche.

The report by the exec committee will be proffered to NARAS’ board of trustees during an annual confab set to start May 11 and will likely earn Greene an unequivocal thumbs up.

Greene said the report and Tate & Tyron’s study proves “NARAS operates in a professional manner and has nothing to hide.”

He has repeatedly said that the org spends more than 36% on disbursements, and at least another 37% is put into a reserve account for the construction and funding of a care facility for music industry execs, which is modeled after the Motion Picture & Television Home in Calabasas (Daily Variety, Feb. 25)

But a Los Angeles Times article earlier this year claimed that NARAS’ MusicCares wing disbursed less than 10% of its revenues. It also took issue with the way the org disburses its money and called into question the way the reserves are earmarked.

Follow-up articles characterized Greene’s $757,000 salary as too high for a charitable org and that he has fostered a hostile work environment. It also sug-gested Greene used his influence to obtain a recording deal through Mercury Records, and that the album was made at the expense of NARAS.

Greene publicly criticized the articles and hired veteran litigator Chuck Ortner to look into the attacks. The Times has steadfastly stood behind its stories.

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