WAOW Station Manager Tied to IRS Investigation of Former NFL’ers Charity

By Kevin Eck 

The station manager of Wausau, WI, ABC affiliate WAOW is reportedly part of an IRS investigation into a charity run by former Green Bay Packer LeRoy Butler.

According to the Green Bay Press Gazette, in the ten years Butler’s charity has been raising money for breast cancer survivors, Butler has only filed once with the IRS.

Brad Heinkel, station manager at WAOW-TV in Wausau, confirmed in a brief phone interview that the IRS contacted him about his work with Butler’s charity. He declined to say when that occurred or provide other details. Heinkel did say he is no longer affiliated with the LeRoy Butler Foundation.

Heinkel was listed as a representative of Butler’s foundation in media accounts from the mid-2000s, including a 2007 story that directed readers to send checks for Butler’s foundation to Heinkel’s home address. A business card of Heinkel’s from 2010 obtained by Gannett Wisconsin Media listed him as Wausau chapter president of the LeRoy Butler Foundation.

Heinkel previously worked at WSAW-TV in Wausau, and the station manager there, Al Lancaster, said two IRS agents visited the station July 12 looking for Heinkel.

Butler told the Press Gazette if the event he is hosting is profitable, he will often take upwards of $10,000 per appearance for himself.

Butler has said all money raised by his charity went to help women diagnosed with breast cancer or their families, though that contradicts his own admission that he took appearance fees from charity events that were profitable.

When asked for records detailing his donations, Butler provided a breakdown by city of 87 women he said received payments of $500 to $1,000 through his foundation from 2004 to 2012. No names were included, which Butler said was due to privacy concerns.

Several women interviewed by Gannett Wisconsin Media have confirmed receiving money from Butler, and one said she received a used car. Contact information for those women was provided by Butler.

TVSpy asked Heinkel for comment but has yet to hear back. We will update when we do.