Archive | Oversight

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Reinforcing The Ethical Significance Of Board Stewardship

For those of you following the tragic circumstances at Healing Arts Initiative (HAI), this weekend uncovered news that casts an even darker tone to the already tragic situation. If you are new to the details, HAI’s former bookkeeper, Kim Williams, allegedly orchestrated an attack against the organization’s executive director, Rev. D. Alexandra Dyer, that materialized in an assailant throwing a cup of drain cleaner into Dyer’s face. According to police statements, the attack was an attempt to dissuade Ms. Dyer from investigating Ms. Williams’ illicit activity. Events took a sharp left turn […]

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Avoiding Lawyer-Director Bear Traps

There’s a superb post today at ArtsHacker, written by Joe Patti that examines problems that regularly fly under the radar related to board members who are also attorneys. The lawyer may be faced with serving dual conflicting roles, one as a lawyer providing legal advice and the other as a director with a duty to govern an organization. Perhaps the biggest consideration is attorney-client privilege. Don’t assume that any communication about the organization’s business is protected by privilege and be sure the lawyer is willing to represent the organization in that situation. […]

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Peninsula Symphony Embezzlement Case Just Became Creepy

In March, 2014 Peninsula Symphony Orchestra’s former executive director, Stephen Jay Carlton, was arrested on charges of grand theft, embezzlement, forgery, ID theft and tax fraud, plus enhancements for excessive taking. A recent article by Tracey Kaplan in the 12/5/2014 edition of the Mercury News reports Carlton was recently convicted on all charges and prosecutors are asking for a 16 year sentence, which might seem extreme for embezzling $272,000; that is, until the creepy part comes to light. According to Kaplan’s report, prosecutors are seeking the stiff penalty because Carlton has a […]

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It Just Isn’t A New Season Without Some (alleged) Fraud

It seems rare to watch a season pass without a report of fraud or embezzlement and according to an article by Janos Gereben in the 10/11/2013 edition of the San Francisco Classical Voice (SFCV), the 2013/14 season is off with a half million dollar bang. Gereben reports that the Peninsula Symphony, a community orchestra located in Los Altos, CA, discovered at the beginning of the month that their endowment and general operating bank accounts had been drained. According to the SFCV report, questions about the missing funds appear to be tied to […]

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Charges Of Financial Irregularities At Symphony Of The Americas

When joining the board of a nonprofit performing arts organization, most folks don’t assume the job will include a political battle fought in the public arena for doing nothing more than acting as a steward of public trust. But according to a report in the 6/4/2013 edition of WPLG’s by Bob Norman, that appears to be the case at the Symphony of the Americas (SoA) where members of the organization’s executive board claim they were ousted for attempting to investigate questionable spending practices of SoA’s executive director, Renee LaBonte, and the […]

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