Committee Chair: Process Is Painful For Families

NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A panel will decide on Thursday how to use a large portion of the $11.4 million donated to the Newtown community in the wake of the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Most of the money will go to the families of the 26 people killed in the shooting, reported WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau.

The distinguished panel is headed by Alan Nevice, a now-retired federal judge, who said Thursday’s meeting will decide how to allocate 70 percent of the funds. Each of the families who lost a family member in the massacre will get an even share of the money.

“We could never, ever try to make different distributions,” he said. “It’s impossible.”

Judge Nevice said before deciding the amount, the committee will meet with most of the families, but not all of them.

“They’re just not going to come. Somehow or other, someone will pick up a claim form for them so they can complete the claim form and submit it,” Nevice said. “But in terms in coming to a public meeting or even meeting with us, it’s just so painful for them, they just can’t do it.”

The public is invited to provide input at the forum, which is set for Thursday evening at Newtown’s Edmond Town Hall.

Some victims’ families have complained the process has lacked transparency and caused them anguish by giving them a difficult place in deciding how to allocate the money.

After the money is distributed to the families, the remainder will be put in escrow for long-term community needs.

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