Board from Hell Blog
Hello again, everyone. Maybe not everyone, but we're hoping that there are at least some "thinking" folks out there among you who have read Chapter 1 and are puzzled by the discrepancies in what you may have read in the "Norma-Jean" Blog and the initial information we've provided thus far, that you will want to see where we go next in this journey to uncover the truth.
In our second phase, we will provide additional information on how, where and when the Board of the Franklin County Humane Society has violated its own By-Laws as well as detailing who the 17 individuals are who have resigned from the Board or their work with the shelter.
So, get comfortable, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, and hang onas Bette Davis said"It's going to be a bumpy ride!"
During the past 12 months there have been a total of 9 Board Members who have resigned. They are:
Barbara Johnson, Matt Kleinert, Paul Brooker, Kendall Clay (was voted off but had already left at will), Sue Kirkman, Joe Johnson, Jeanine Sloan, Tony Menchella and Christy Burton.
Also turning in resignations were Bookkeeper, Carolyn Morrissey; City appointed Ex-Officio Board Member, Katie Sewell; County appointed Ex-Officio Board Member, Floyd Hockensmith; 2011-2012 Treasurer, Rebecca Mohr, after only 3 weeks on the job; Shelter Director, Diann Wellman after only 5 months on the job; Shelter Veterinarian Melinda Davis,; and employee Josh Cromer.
Also suspended from her Board position, but thereafter reinstated by only 3 remaining Board members and still maintaining her Board seat, was Stephanie Bramblet, who was accused in the dognapping case from July, 2011 and took a plea deal. She is under a 6 month Diversion Program at which time a final verdict will be given. Better behave PRINCESS!
That makes the total of 17 separate individuals who have resigned in less than one year and another who should have resigned from holding any type of position. Now we will probably never know the real story behind most of these resignations as many of these folks will choose to say that their resignations were for "personal reasons". But if your were to speak with others, they would most probably be more than happy to give you the exact reasons why they resigned. Of particular interest is the fact that there have been two people who were involved in attempting to resolve the organization's financial situation who have quickly thrown up their hands and said no more. Here is red Flag #2. But more about this area later.
Furthermore, two more resigning members are also attorneys. Wonder why they decided to get out? For that matter, who is providing legal counsel to the organization? They have stated that Bullock and Coffman is their legal counsel: however there has been no evidence that the shelter or the Board has appointed this firm. Cecil Preston from Bullock and Coffman was retained by Teresa Masters with her own money to carry out the Board's personal vendetta against a volunteer for using the membership list to INVITE members to the September Board meeting. Also, the father of a Board member was acting as legal counsel for Stephanie Bramblett, mentioned above, in the alleged "dognapping". Should this not be considered a conflict of interest and this attorney should have instead recused himself? Guess Trudi Johnson really is a daddy's girl.
Now, lets move on to the area of finances. The Board has been spending between $10,000.00 and $15,000.00 each month, amounting to a total of $68,413.00 in expenses from July, 2010 through May, 2011. As of May 2011 $60,000.00 had been withdrawn from the Myrna Mitchell Estate which, in comparison to previous years is an immense amount. At the July 16, 2011 meeting it was noted by the Treasurer that approximately $20,000.00 of this money from the Mitchell account was "unaccounted for".
At the presentation of its 2011-2012 Budget (the organization runs a fiscal year July - June), there is a $70,000.00 increase in revenue in spite of their being no increase in funding from either the City or the County. Where do they propose this much additional revenue is coming from in a depressed economy?
There have also been several instances of Board Officers and/or Committees overstepping their bounds.
For example, the Finance Committee has made several transactions ranging between $10,000.00 and $20,000.00 from the Myrna Mitchell account without Board knowledge. (See monthly Board minutes for lack of voting on these transactions.)
The Board also interfered with euthanasia decisions and micromanaged the Shelter Executive Director, allowing her no knowledge of the financial situation so she had no idea of what sort of funding she had available to work with. This micromanaging also applied to Staff, even calling certain staff members aside and asking where their loyalties were.
The Board President, Teresa Masters, made decisions outside the limitations listed in the By-Laws, including termination of Staff without prior Board vote (Article V, Section 5: " Termination: The President shall propose to the Board of Directors to terminate any employee. If two-thirds of the majority vote is to terminate then the employee will be immediately terminated."); hiring and setting salary instead of making recommendations to the Board (Article V, Section 3: "Other Employees: The Board shall have the authority to hire and fire such employees as may be necessary to properly conduct the work of the Society."); routinely bypassing Shelter Director and giving instructions directly to the Staff (Article V, Section 2: " Shelter Manager: The Board shall employ a Shelter Manager. The Shelter Manager shall be charged with presiding over the day to day operation of the shelter and staff. The Shelter Manager shall adhere to and enforce all policies and procedures. The further duties of the Shelter Manager shall be determined by the Board of Directors, and removing files from the premises (See President guidelines in Article VI, Section 2). *2
At the August and September, 2011, Board meetings it was stated that there would be no financial report provided because an independent accounting firm was performing an audit. Maybe they MIGHT be available at the October 15th Board meeting, hold your breath that Charles T. Mitchell came through.
That should give you something to chew on and consider until Chapter 3, coming soon.
*2 E-mails available to substantiate information provided above