BOSTON, MA – Maria Kotrotsou, mother of 17 year-old Mirto Papadomichelakis, who has been hospitalized since June at Spaulding Rehabilitation in Boston, is demanding funds that the Federation of the Hellenic American Societies of New England (FHASNE) has raised to help her daughter.
Mirto was brutally attacked in summer 2012 by an illegal alien from Pakistan, Ahmed Bakas, while vacationing with her mother and her older sister on Paros.
FHASNE decided to seek the legal advice of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office before it convenes a general assembly in response to Kotrotsou’s demands.
All of the medical expenses in the United States, which amount into hundreds of thousands of dollars, are not covered by the Greek government. FHASNE offered to organize a fund drive in order to help with the purchase of a special communication device called the Tobii Speech Recognition Device, and also to pay for a major operation she had on December 5 at Boston’s Children Hospital, which are not governed by the Greek Government.
Bessie Pappas, head of the Hellenic Cardiac Fund, which is connected to the Children’s Hospital, guaranteed Mitro’s admittance into the hospital and the operation, which will cost approximately $50,000.
Kotrotsou’s attorney sent a letter containing many demands to FHASNE attorney Demetris Ioannidis shortly before the Federation’s Board meeting on January 8th at the Maliotis Cultural Center in Brookline. Kotrotsou and her attorney did not attend the meeting, though they had been scheduled to do so. The meeting, open to the public and the press, contained 14 of the 15 FHASNE Parish Council Members, and 32 people in total, including some Federation past presidents. A detailed financial report was given to all those present, showing a total of $133,000 collected through the fund drive, including proceeds from a December 7 dinner dance in Roslindale.
Ioannidis informed the Federation’s board and the rest of the participants of the meeting about the letter and read the main portions of it.
According to the letter, Kotrotsou demands the following:
- Copies of all bank statements throughout the account’s existence.
- Authorization to the bank to release all information to Mirto’s guardian, Kotrotsou, or to her legal advisor.
- Transfer until January 31 all the funds to a trust account opened by Kotrotsou at a bank of her choice.
- Notarized conformation that FHASNE has given copies of all other accounts into which it deposits funds.
- Authorization to PayPal to give account information to Kotrotsou.
- A formal letter of apology from the Board to Mirto and Kotrotsou for any instance in which the Board or any member assailed, slandered, or defamed the character of either of them. Also as statement that the comments made by First Vice President Bill Kafkas do not represent FHASNE’s opinions and that the letter will be given to the press.
- An apology letter from Kafkas to Mirto and to Kotrotsou, and to be given to the press.
- Contact information of all donors to Kotrotsou.
- Notification to donors that the donations are not tax deductible.
- Notification to donors that FHASNE will not be the escrow agent or trustee of the donated funds.
- Notification to donors that their contact information will be given to Kotrotsou so that she may send them a thank you letter.
- A letter to Hellenic Cardiac Fund saying that Federation’s Mirto Funds will not pay the Children’s Hospital and will instead be used to pay other medical expenses.
- A notarized agreement that the Federation or its advisors will attempt to obtain Mirto’s medical records of bills.
- A notarized agreement that the Federation and its advisors will not publicly discuss any matters concerning Mirto or Kotrotsou without authorization from her.”
If these demands are not met by January 31, Kotrotsou indicated that she will file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office, a complaint will be sent to the IRS and possibly a civil action in Massachusetts Superior Court.
Kotrotsou also informed FHASNE that no bills will be submitted for payments from the funds collected.
Maria Spyridopoulos, who organized the December 7 dinner dance, told TNH that “I am so sorry because if someone else will need help in future he or she will not be helped because of this.” She also said that “the majority of the donors wouldn’t give money to Mirto’s mother if the Federation wasn’t involved.”
Federation former president Demetrios Tsoumbanos said at the meeting “Mrs. Kotrotsou wants the get control of the fund. Are we going to do it? The decisions should be made by all of us. It is proper to convene a general assembly.”
Theofilos Kamperides, founder and first president of the Federation said “we should protect the good name of the Federation. We should face the issue with prudence and seriousness.”
Kostas Travagiakis said “Mrs. Kotrotsou has put the Federation on the defense. She is asking for many things which can’t be given to her. The Federation should seek advice from the Office of the Attorney General.”