DENVER — The mediator who oversaw compensation for victims of the Sept. 11 attacks will oversee the distribution of money donated to the victims of the deadly shooting at a suburban Denver movie theater, Gov. John Hickenlooper said Friday.

Twelve people were killed and 58 injured in the July 20 attack in Aurora during a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises."

Hickenlooper said Friday that Kenneth Feinberg won't be paid in his role as a special master overseeing the distribution of donations. Feinberg is taking the role "as a patriot in the purest way," the governor said.

Feinberg said he would apply the lessons he's learned from overseeing compensation for victims of the 9/11 attacks, the Virginia Tech shooting and the BP oil spill. Colorado officials who have overseen the compensation fund for Aurora victims have been criticized for how long it's taken to distribute money.

"I think I'm doing what millions of Americans would do if asked," Feinberg said. "I've had experience doing this, so I get the call. This is not rocket science. This is trying to take a limited pot of money, distribute it as soon as you can, as quickly as you can to eligible people in sore need of this money."

The Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, the 7/20 Committee and the Community First Foundation have all worked in different capacities on the fund for Aurora victims.

Last week, the families of 10 people killed and at least a dozen of those wounded called on Hickenlooper and lawmakers to appoint an independent arbitrator to oversee distribution of the donations.

The families say they've been frustrated by an initial plan that would have excluded them from the process of disbursing the funds, the time the process has taken and the possibility of spending donations on mental health treatment.

"We recognize that this has not been an easy process and recognize and understand the frustration that many of the family members of the victims have experienced," Hickenlooper said.

Of the $5.2 million collected, $350,000 has been given to families for immediate financial needs and $100,000 has been split between 10 nonprofit groups.

ABC News first reported Feinberg's involvement.

Tom Teves, whose son Alex was killed while protecting his girlfriend at the theater, remained skeptical of those in charge of the fund but said Feinberg's involvement is probably a good thing if he "maintains his moral compass."

He said the pain of families who have lost loved ones has been lost in the dispute.

"If all of this gets settled the right way, that pain won't go away," he said.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, who has called for a change in the donation assistance process for the shooting victims, said in a statement he was pleased by the development.

He said Feinberg "brings instant credibility to the process in hopes of reassuring victims, their families, and all who have contributed to the recovery fund that this will be done right."

Feinberg also was recently hired by Penn State in its effort to settle personal injury claims of victims molested by assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

In a book he wrote about his victim compensation work – "Who Gets What: Fair Compensation after Tragedy and Financial Upheaval" – he wrote that more than $7 billion in taxpayer money was used to pay survivors of the 9/11 attacks, with an average award for death of about $2 million, for injury about $400,000. Ninety-eight percent of claimants participated, and just 94 families opted out so they could sue.

At Virginia Tech, $6.5 million was distributed among 32 families, including five faculty members, using a methodology that took into account the length of hospital stays for those who survived.

It was also revealed Friday that Cinemark said in a letter it plans to reopen the theater where the Colorado shooting occurred. Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan asked the company to refurbish and reopen the theater based on request from victims and victim's advocates.

James Holmes, a former University of Colorado, Denver, graduate student, has been charged with 152 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes in the July 20 shooting. The 24-year-old has not entered a plea.

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Associated Press writers Colleen Slevin and Ivan Moreno contributed to this report.

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  • An Aurora police officer looks at the memorial across from the movie theater, Wednesday, July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and over 50 wounded in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • Daniel Oates

    Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates, center, looks at the memorial across from the movie theater, Wednesday, July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and over 50 wounded in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • A woman holds flowers before placing them at the memorial across from the movie theater, Wednesday, July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and over 50 wounded in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • Stacy Moriarty

    Stacy Moriarty, from Aurora, reveals a tattoo with the word serenity as she looks at the memorial across from the movie theater, Wednesday, July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and over 50 wounded in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • Gretchen Fronapfel

    Aurora Police Homicide Detective Gretchen Fronapfel, right, hugs a woman at the memorial across from the movie theater, Wednesday, July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and over 50 wounded in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • Shadia Sikkema, Diane Sikkema, Spenser Sikkema

    Shadia Sikkema, 12, left, her mother Diane Sikkema, and sister Spenser Sikkema, 19, hold each other at the memorial across from the movie theater, Wednesday, July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and over 50 wounded in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • Aurora police officer bow their heads in prayer at the memorial across from the movie theater, Wednesday, July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and over 50 wounded in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • A picture of Gordon Cowden is nearly covered with flowers at the memorial across from the movie theater, Wednesday, July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and over 50 wounded in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • Yadira Gutierrez

    Yadira Gutierrez, 5, from Denver, hangs onto her mother's hand as she tosses a flower onto the memorial across from the movie theater, Wednesday, July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and over 50 wounded in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: A wooden cross with the name and sailor's cap of shooting victim John Larimer, the Navy intelligence officer from Crystal Lake, Illinois, is viewd through a heart-shaped wreath at a makeshift memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theater on July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes is suspected of killing 12 and injuring 58 others on July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: Aurora Colorado Police division chief Ken Murphy gets hug as he and Aurora police top brass along with firefighters visit the makeshift memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theater on July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes is suspected of killing 12 and injuring 58 others on July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: A woman visits the makeshift memorial for the 12 movie theater shooting victims built across the street from the Century 16 Theater July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes is suspected of killing 12 and injuring 58 others on July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: A woman visits the makeshift memorial for the 12 movie theater shooting victims built across the street from the Century 16 Theater July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes is suspected of killing 12 and injuring 58 others on July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: Aurora Colorado Police Chief Dan Oates (2ndR) and FBI special agent in charge Jim Yacone (R) visit the makeshift memorial to participate in a prayer across the street from the Century 16 movie theater on July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes is suspected of killing 12 and injuring 58 others on July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: A woman visits the makeshift memorial for the 12 movie theater shooting victims built across the street from the Century 16 Theater July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes is suspected of killing 12 and injuring 58 others on July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: Aurora police division cheif Kevin Flynn looks at a memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theatre July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes, suspected of killing Cowden and 11 others and injuring 58, July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado.(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: Aurora police division cheif Kevin Flynn looks at a memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theatre July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes, suspected of killing Cowden and 11 others and injuring 58, July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado.(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: Aurora police division cheif Kevin Flynn (R) stands next to a memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theatre July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes, suspected of killing Cowden and 11 others and injuring 58, July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado.(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: (L - R) Aurora police commander Jack Dalez and division cheif Kevin Flynn look at the cross of victim Gordon Cowden at a memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theatre July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes, suspected of killing Cowden and 11 others and injuring 58, July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado.(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: Balloons with the names of of victims at a memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theatre July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes, suspected of killing Cowden and 11 others and injuring 58, July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado.(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: Aurora police division cheif Kevin Flynn looks at a memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theatre July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes, suspected of killing Cowden and 11 others and injuring 58, July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado.(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: Law enforcement officers pay their respect at a memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theatre July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes, suspected of killing Cowden and 11 others and injuring 58, July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado.(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: Law enforcement officers pay their respect at a memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theatre July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes, suspected of killing Cowden and 11 others and injuring 58, July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado.(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: A mourner stands under balloons with the names of of victims at a memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theatre July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes, suspected of killing Cowden and 11 others and injuring 58, July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado.(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: Aurora police division cheif Kevin Flynn looks at a memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theatre July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes, suspected of killing Cowden and 11 others and injuring 58, July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado.(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: Aurora police top brass division chief Kevin Flynn (L), commander Roger Cloyd (C) and commander Jack Daluz visit the makeshift memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theater on July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes is suspected of killing 12 and injuring 58 others on July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Denver Area Community Continues To Mourn In Wake Of Movie Theater Killings

    AURORA, CO - JULY 25: Aurora police top brass division chief Kevin Flynn (L) and commander Jack Daluz visit the makeshift memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theater on July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes is suspected of killing 12 and injuring 58 others on July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)