Former Alabama judge Roy Moore, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, once said publicly that he did not take a “regular salary” from the small charity he founded to promote Christian values because he did not want to be a financial burden.
But privately, Moore had arranged to receive a salary of $180,000 a year for part-time work at the Foundation for Moral Law, internal charity documents show. He collected more than $1 million as president from 2007 to 2012, compensation that far surpassed what the group disclosed in its public tax filings most of those years.
.. The former longtime executive director of the charity now serves as Moore’s campaign manager. The charity retained the same fundraising firm used by three of Moore’s most recent campaigns for state office, public records show.
.. Seven charity and tax law specialists consulted by The Post said the nonprofit’s activities raised questions about compliance with IRS rules, including prohibitions on the use of a charity for the private benefit or enrichment of an individual.
.. Joining Moore at the nonprofit were two other state Supreme Court employees who also lost their jobs over the monument controversy. One of them, Richard Hobson — now Moore’s campaign manager in the Senate race — became the charity’s president. Moore’s daughter, Heather, became its receptionist.
.. “He’s known as ‘The Ten Commandments Judge,’” he said. “That story was an important part of every fundraising appeal we did.”
.. In 2007, Moore became the charity’s president, committing himself to 20 hours a week, according to tax filings. The board agreed to pay him; the question was how much. They considered a figure as high as $500,000 annually, according to an internal letter the charity provided to The Post.
.. Moore would be paid whatever speaking fees and donations to the charity he could generate through what was called “Project Jeremiah,” the group’s ministry to pastors and preachers.
.. But he was guaranteed $180,000 a year under the agreement, with the charity making up the difference if Project Jeremiah revenue fell short. If the charity did not have the cash in a given year, the debt to Moore would accumulate.
.. In some years, including 2007, he was described as an outside legal contractor, tax filings show, and in others he was paid as president. His reported compensation ranged from $55,392 to $105,500 — and not until 2012 did the figure match the $180,000 the board had agreed to pay him.
.. In effect, the board was giving him the opportunity to foreclose on its headquarters to collect what he was owed. It also authorized Bentley to increase the amount owed to Moore as needed.
.. “My salary does not come by way of a regular salary from the Foundation, but through a special project that I run so that I don’t inhibit the Foundation,” he told a jury in August, according to a transcript of the hearing in federal court in Ohio.
In December 2011, Bentley agreed to increase the amount of debt to Moore, anchored by the mortgage, to $498,000, records show.
.. Moore’s full $180,000 compensation should have been disclosed each year, whether it was paid to him or accumulated as debt,
.. Kayla Moore became the charity’s president when Moore returned to the Alabama Supreme Court in 2013, making $65,000 a year from 2013 to 2015.
.. In recent weeks, the Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog group in Washington, accused the charity of openly promoting Moore’s Senate campaign through a Facebook page titled “Foundation for Moral Law.” Charities are prohibited by law from supporting or opposing political candidates.