I take issue with your editorial "United Way: It Still Matters" [Dec. 23], in which you assert that the United Way is once again worthy of the public's trust.

You underestimate the level of anger and frustration that I feel about finding out that once again the United Way has mismanaged the money that I contributed to it. Years ago, when the national charity got caught paying exorbitant salaries to its top executives and allowing them to spend my contributions on their own lavish lifestyles, I was angered. But I believed them when they said they made changes and promised to do better in the future.

Now this time, the local organization is guilty of paying exorbitant salaries, practicing fraudulent bookkeeping and cheating needy organizations out of money that was rightfully theirs. This is inexcusable.

I agree with you about the need "to assist the hungry, the homeless, the young and the elderly and people with special needs," but I don't agree with you about continuing to contribute to the United Way. The cycle of arrogance, abuse, mismanagement and fraud can and must stop here and now. The United Way has seen the last dollar of my money.

-- Michael J. Schaffer