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Post date: November 14 2001

Statement By Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Regarding The Red Cross Liberty Fund Announcement

I am very pleased by today's decision by the Red Cross. It represents a dramatic step forward in improving the overall relief effort.

It was imperative that the Red Cross fulfill the intent of the millions of Americans who gave hard-earned money to help the World Trade Center disaster relief effort. The clear intent was that the money go to victims and their families. I had traveled to Washington twice and held a number of phone conversations with Red Cross officials to convey this message.

I commend the Red Cross Board of Directors and CEO Decker for this decision.

I also want to acknowledge the Red Cross' efforts to assist in creation of a database that would help coordinate relief efforts. That issue has been dealt with and, as confirmed in today's press release, the Red Cross is cooperating fully.

We are clearly on the right path, but many issues remain for all charities involved in this process. It is my hope and expectation that everyone will work in good faith and with the sole purpose of aiding the victims of this terrible tragedy. Having the Red Cross as a partner and not an adversary is critical to this effort.

The Red Cross has a long and truly great tradition in times of crisis. The organization made a misstep in this particular situation, but now it has been corrected.