Questioning the Financial Purpose of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library’s Foundation

Springfield — We talk with Tony Leone, a former Board Member of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, about what he sees as conflicts of purpose, in the running of the foundation that was originally established to support the operations of the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Mr Leone says fund that normally would go to support the operations of the Presidential Library and Museum — such as the in-house bookstore and funds derived from catering events at the site — go to the foundation, instead of directly to the library and museum. He also discusses the questionable rewriting of a loan, in which the foundation reportedly borrowed $23 million to buy Lincoln artifacts. T

The foundation still owes nearly $10 million on that note, and needs to repay it in full by October 2019, or risk losing the entire collection for which they borrowed. Mr Leone says lawmakers – including state Rep Jeanne Ives (R), want more information on the loan and on the operations of the foundation and its structure, and may move to hold a legislative hearing in the weeks ahead.

Other news outlets, including CBS and the Chicago Tribune, have also reported on some of the confusing details of how the Lincoln Library’s Foundation managed its funds.