Adrian Peterson v. the Star Tribune

  In this July 28, 2014, file photo, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson looks on during NFL football training camp in Mankato.  (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Though he and his attorney refused to answer questions before the story was published, Adrian Peterson and the Star Tribune are waging a fierce battle with each other over Sunday’s blockbuster, including an allegation of financial impropriety at Peterson’s All Day foundation.

The newspaper also said a hotel room where a party was held that resulted in a rape allegation, was paid for with Peterson’s credit card.

In the last few hours, Peterson responded via Twitter, claiming among other things that the Star Tribune reporters followed the wrong charitable organization when it tracked its contributions.

Arif Hasan, who writes Vikings Territory, has been analyzing the original story and trail of financial transactions and found that ESPN had already done the story and traced where the money from Peterson’s foundation went.

Specifically, Outside the Lines, ESPN’s investigative journalism arm, had already examined the 2008-2011 tax forms and found that over 50 percent of the organization’s revenue went to the Straight from the Heart Ministries. It’s the same ministry that recruited Reggie White to do its proselytizing and was well known in the 1990s for its active work in denouncing homosexuality.

Bill Horn, who ran the group, became friends with a former teammate of Adrian’s at Oklahoma and ended up being the treasurer of Peterson’s charity for a short time (he is no longer the treasurer). Though listed as the president of that ministry, he says he was not involved with it and does not see a conflict of interest on being on the board of Peterson’s charity and its largest recipient.

The man who runs the foundation claims that the Star Tribune never called.

“I wish they’d have given us a call and given us a chance to clear up some of these misconceptions,” said Bruce Richman, who runs the All Day Foundation now, told

Richman said much of the problem resulted from poor management of the foundation prior to 2011. A new management team was hired after that.

“There’s no real story since 2011,” Richman said. “Because we’ve cleaned everything up.”

“The deal is if you’re claiming you cleaned everything up, we’ll be the first to report that. But prove it,” said Paul McEnroe, one of the reporters involved with the Star Tribune report, who vigorously defended it during an appearance on KFAN on Tuesday afternoon. “The problem is you’re late on the 2012 late report, which leads to the question: If you’re late how can you prove you cleaned everything up?

“There was no sloppy cutting corners slanting the information in order to make it look a certain way,” he said. “If there’s anything about (Star Tribune reporter) Mike Kaszuba, he’s thorough. He busted it trying to get the right people. According to Mike, he attempted to call the foundation, but the foundation it turns out has a phone number that’s listed that’s disconnected. That’s one roadblock. Until yesterday, nobody had ever heard of Paul Richman who called Kaszuba and described himself as a philanthropic adviser to Adrian Peterson. The main point was the foundation he said has gone through a lot of sloppy reporting and he told Mike they’re making every effort to turn it around.

“It’s obvious that he did not really dig into the foundation’s documentation, which — the best way to say it — is a holy mess,” McEnroe said of Peterson’s adviser.

KFAN host Dan Barreiro, a former Star Tribune columnist, said the story should have included denials from Peterson’s camp, but says Peterson’s camp should’ve responded when given the opportunity.

“I still have a hard time believing that if ESPN get ahold of Richman, the Star Tribune can’t,” he said. “But I’ll also add if you approach Peterson directly through his attorney and you lay out several aspects of the story, and the decision is not to comment, that has to be factored into the equation. Would it have been better that you approach the person now dealing with the foundation? Yes. But even if (is) claiming there’s no story because ‘we’ve cleaned everything up’ … maybe. We don’t really know. I don’t believe there’s been any documentation that, indeed, offers that.”

Related: Emotional reaction to Star Tribune’s in-depth Adrian Peterson report ( Star Tribune).