Darlene Tipton, who was vice president of standards and practices for the Fox Cable Networks Group, has been fired from her job after using her company email account to arrange aide for families of Flight MH370.
Tipton wanted to use the fundraising website GoFundMe.com to raise immediate financial aide funds for the families of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. By doing so she believed it would spare the families lengthy legal fights, reports the Daily Mail.
“We want to raise money for families, to give them immediate relief,” Tipton said. “Otherwise, they could be in court for years.”
Using her Fox email address, Tipton reached out to Sarah Bajc, the girlfriend of Phillip Wood, one of the missing passengers, who has frequently appeared on TV following the March 8 disappearance of the plane.
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9News MSN reports that Tipton told Bajc she could potentially raise more than $15 million if she waived the right to legal proceedings.
Bajc, thinking Tipton may be working a scam, alerted Fox of Tipton’s correspondence.
Scott Grogin, a Fox spokesperson, said Tipton’s “conduct and communications” violated company policy.
"As soon as we became aware, we took appropriate steps," said Grogin.
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After 25 years working for Fox, Tipton has been fired from her position and left the company.
But Tipton says she was surprised by her firing because other employees use their email accounts for personal business. She plans to sue Fox for wrongful termination.
Stan Lieber, Tipton’s lawyer, says there is no law against raising money for someone, even if their permission is not granted.
“If they don’t want to take it, they don’t have to take it,” Lieber said to aviation blogger Christine Negroni of Flying Lessons.
"They're not trying to make money out of this, they're trying to help the victims," Lieber said.
Tipton plans to continue her fundraising efforts through GoFundMe.com. The reason for her passion for the cause is because of an experience by her husband. Ken Tipton says he had hallucinations last month while in the hospital under medication wherein he was with the plane’s passengers and witnessed the plane’s actual outcome.
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is ongoing in the Indian Ocean.