McGree? We thought it was McGREEDY.
It’s almost too easy to villainize a guy whose name rhymes with “Simon Legree,” the infamous evil character in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In a spurt of excellent journalism The Omaha World-Herald reported McGree had turned the time honored non-profit Goodwill Industries into a cash cow for friends and relatives. Goodwill’s reputation for operating thrift stores selling donated items and employing disabled and needy job-seekers was buried by the paper’s revelation the stores had collected four million dollars in revenue last year while only spending $557,000 on job programs. The rest of the profits were largely inhaled by lavish executive pay. McGree and eight of his top managers alone split $1.8 million of those profits. Fourteen other executives and managers made over a hundred thousand dollars a year. That group included McGree’s daughter and the daughter-in-law of a Goodwill board member. McGree has resigned in disgrace despite his defiant defense of his work. Like the lyrics to Tom Lehrer’s song “The Old Dope Peddler,” this jerk claims he was only “doing well by doing good.”