May 8, 2013
AG Kane announces reform agreement with Milton Hershey Trust and Milton Hershey School
HARRISBURG- Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced today that her office has reached an Agreement with the Milton Hershey School ("MHS") and Hershey Trust Company ("HTC") to implement certain reforms that will both better serve MHS's mission -- specifically to nurture and educate children in social and financial need -- and improve HTC's organizational governance.
"Milton and Catherine Hershey were visionary philanthropists who cared deeply about children in need," said Attorney General Kane. "These reforms will help ensure that the Hersheys' goal of providing a stable home and quality education to disadvantaged children can continue for generations to come."
Highlights of the reforms agreed to by the Office of Attorney General ("OAG") and HTC are as follows:
In addition to the implementation of the reforms discussed above, Attorney General Kane also announced that a lengthy and thorough investigation of HTC's administration of the Milton Hershey School Trust concluded without a finding of any breach of fiduciary duty. The investigation took approximately two years and examined, among other things, allegations that School Trust assets had been misused for excessive board compensation and benefits, questionable land purchases, and unnecessary facility upgrades.
"As with all Pennsylvania charitable trusts, my office will continue to diligently monitor the activities of the School Trust to make sure that the use of trust assets is entirely consistent with Milton and Catherine Hershey's donative intent," said Attorney General Kane. "Their landmark perpetual generosity demands nothing less."
Going forward, the OAG will receive annual written reports on HTC's compliance with the terms of the Agreement setting forth the reforms, as well as direct access to additional materials, information and personnel as the OAG may request in connection with performing its oversight responsibilities. Finally, Attorney General Kane announced her intention to visit MHS in the near future.
"The Milton Hershey School is an unparalleled resource for our Commonwealth and its disadvantaged youth," said Attorney General Kane. "I intend to visit the school so that I can meet students, teachers and staff and gain a firsthand understanding of the institution's strengths, as well as any areas needing improvement. I look forward to a new era of openness and collaboration to achieve the best possible outcomes for children in need."
Click here for a copy of the OAG's Orphans Court filing.
Click here for a copy of the Agreement between the OAG and MHS / HTC.
Note: the newly adopted Conflicts of Interest and Travel and Expense Reimbursement Policies are included as exhibits to the Agreement.