Orange County will press onePULSE Foundation to release financial documents

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and commissioners agreed Tuesday to pay nearly the $52,000 onePULSE Foundation owes in property taxes on the once-planned site of the National Pulse Memorial and Museum.


But while the county put taxpayers on the hook for onePULSE’s debt, the county says the Foundation is not releasing financial records to orange county officials.

9 investigates first broke the story on Eyewitness News at 6 two weeks ago that onePULSE had not turned over financial documents that Orange County request four months ago.

Mayor Jerry Demings told 9 Investigates he learned of this around the same time we reported it.

Demings says Orange County will press the now-dissolved onePULSE Foundation to turn over its bank statements and board meeting minutes.

Read: Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Ship issued ‘mayday’ before hitting bridge, governor says

“We are pursuing every lawful means to recover whatever we can—including records,” Demings said.

The county originally asked for the records in November. The documents would shed some light on how the foundation operated and internal decisions made by the board.

But onePULSE has claimed it can’t turn over those records.

“What do you think it says that the onePULSE is making it difficult for the county to get any records out of them?,” reporter Ashlyn Webb asked Commissioner Mayra Uribe.

Read: Dollar Tree to increase max price in its stores to $7 by the end of the year

“What are you trying to hide? Give us the info. There’s nothing you guys can do at this time. You’re dissolved. Give us the info,” Uribe said.

The mayor’s comment is a 180 from what the county Comptroller’s office told us two weeks ago. The Comptroller’s Office said it was no longer seeking the records after onePULSE said it didn’t have the staff to produce the records. The Foundation said the county could inspect them in person.

Comptroller Phil Diamond explained Tuesday why his office felt “uncomfortable” and refused.

“We don’t want to be in a situation where if there are missing records, we don’t want to be responsible for the fact there might have already been missing record,” Diamond said.

Read: $1M Powerball ticket sold in Central Florida

Mayor Demings says the county will do its due diligence even if that means hiring a firm to recover the records from onePULSE Foundation.

“We are trying to make certain that wejust don’t take the excuse that [onePULSE] doesn’t have anybody to pull [the records],” Demings said.

Diamond told Channel 9 the documents should be easily retrievable for the nonprofit, particularly bank statements.

OnePULSE employees agreed and added the Foundation stored board meeting minutes on a digital platform that the Foundation would be able to share to the county.

Click here to download our free news, weather and smart TV apps. And click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.