This story was updated at 5 p.m. July 5.
A nonprofit that raised eyebrows when former Gov. Lt. Todd Lamb started the organization before his unsuccessful gubernatorial bid last year has quietly shut down.
The almost four-year-old E Foundation for Oklahoma ceased operations on June 30, according to an email from Rob Crissinger, the group’s former communications director.
Crissinger said the closing comes after the “successful completion” of the tax-exempt public charity’s mission. But further details are scarce, as the group scrubbed nearly all content from its website and deleted its Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The foundation was formed to “educate and enhance communication with Oklahomans regarding the benefits of results-oriented policy making.” In addition to publishing policy papers on education, energy, trade and government accountability, the group launched OK Innovate, a program designed to help entrepreneurs launch start-up businesses.
The E Foundation was one 153 groups listed as an affiliate or associate of the State Policy Network, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports conservative-leaning think tanks across the country.
Tax records show the foundation raised $237,000 in its first year of fundraising in 2015, followed by $622,500 in 2016 raised from 12 donors. The group has not disclosed donors’ names.
Crissinger said he wasn’t immediately aware if the group had leftover funds or if there were any plans on how they would use that money if they did have a remaining balance.
Experts in nonprofit law told Oklahoma Watch in 2017, when Lamb was still a frontrunner for the governor’s office, that the foundation would have to walk a thin line because its 501(c)(3) structure greatly restricts it from engaging in lobbying and bars it from any direct political activity.
Lamb distanced himself from the group during the campaign, stepping down as chairman of the foundation board to serve in an advisory role. He continued to serve in that position after he lost the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination in 2018.
After completing his term as lieutenant governor, Lamb joined TriCorps, a security and technology firm, as its chief development and legal officer.
The E Foundation’s former president, Michael Carnuccio, is now a member of the board of trustees of SALLT, an Oklahoma City-based leadership training group. An Oklahoma Secretary of State filing additionally shows that in April he founded a new nonprofit organization, called the Oklahoma Partnership Project.
A website for the group bills itself as “Oklahoma’s chief philanthropic syndicate.” But no other details are listed and Carnuccio was unable to be reached for comment Friday.