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The "Scottsboro Stories" blog reflects the writings, photographs, arrangements, opinions and musings of me, Garry L. Morgan, only. I do not represent the Scottsboro Boys Museum or the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation - the parent organization of the Scottsboro Boys Museum. I receive no profit from this endeavor. This blog is for educational purposes and that of open expression about racial and sexual discrimination, institutional and personal racism and the deadliest war of all time - "The Culture War."


SCOTTSBORO BOYS MUSEUM & CULTURAL CENTER OPENING STORIES

The Ledger: "Scottsboro, Ala., Museum Opens to Mark a Shameful Case " http://www.theledger.com/article/20100221/NEWS/2215011


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Corruption, Mismanagement, Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation

(photo by G. Morgan)


Some of the current managers and board of directors of the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation see the Scottsboro Boys Museum as a Money Tree to fleece the public of funds and property. Preying on "White Guilt" coupled with no ethical standards, the foundation's management have abused a worthwhile project in Scottsboro, Alabama.

The records of the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation have been requested for a long period of time, it became apparent there was a misuse of funds in July 2010. Finally, after filing of a legal action, the Jackson County Circuit Court Judge, Civil Case 2011-00024, ordered the Director/Chairperson and members of the Board of Directors not to interfere with the production of records. Not only has the Board of Directors interfered with the production of records, the Chairperson/Director and members of the Board of Directors present on April 20, 2011 at the board meeting are in contempt of the court order and conspired to remove myself and one other member who were committed to accountability of funds of the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation.

Complicating matters has been a disbarred attorney advising the Board of Directors on legal matters. This includes submission of legal documents, changing of by laws, changing of the articles of incorporation. Also, after a review of records, it was revealed that at least one Board Member was never legitimately voted onto the Board of Directors. The Chairperson made a unilateral decision to bring the person on the board after a vote which did not approve the new board member. As if this is not enough, the foundation bylaws have never been ratified at a Board Meeting. When this was brought up at the April 12, 2011 meeting by me, I placed a motion on the table, the motion received a second, for the Board of Directors to accept the current bylaws, they refused and voted not to accept the bylaws. Yet, the misguided directors (misguided by the disbarred attorney) went ahead and amended the bylaws in a contemptuous scheme so they could remove the two persons from the board that demanded accountability.

I must report this to citizens who have supported the Scottsboro Boys Museum because they deserve to know the truth. Misuse of taxpayer funds, gross mismanagement, failed accountability and misappropriation of funds have occurred. Some members of the Board of Directors have conspired to cover-up the misuse of funds by the Director of the Scottsboro Boys Museum, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Curator of the museum, one in the same person.

In a recent vote, April 20, 2011, by the Board of Directors of the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation, the Directors voted me and one other person off of the board who were attempting to obtain records as entitled by the laws of the State of Alabama and maintain accountability. A Temporary Restraining Order was signed by Judge Jennifer Holt prohibiting the interference in the production of records. The court order mattered naught to the conspiring members of the Foundation Board of Directors. The Foundation Board removed us via a change in the By Laws, conducted a kangaroo court proceeding at the museum and made false and slanderous allegations concerning diversion of funds at the behest of the Chairperson/Director and the disbarred attorney. The board members who were falsely accused did not have access to any funds at the bank. The removal of the two board members was a malicious action to cover-up wrong doing and gross mismanagement of funds and property of the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation by irresponsible officers of the Foundation.

Public tax-payer funds have been donated to the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation by the City of Scottsboro, Alabama; The Jackson County Commission and the Jackson County Legislative Delegation. Federal Grants via the University of Alabama have been utilized to support the foundation. Representatives of the political entities and University have been advised as to the pending court actions and fund misuse described herein.

Members of the board of directors contrived a plan to falsely accuse and then remove two board members to prevent the further disclosure of records, particularly the IRS Form 1023-Application of Non-Profit Status, the March bank statement, property inventory records, museum accession records, receipts of over $4,500 in travel expenses, contracts and other documentation involving the Foundation Chairperson/Director.

Misuse of funds has been discovered. Making matters worse, the Treasurer resigned in August of 2010 but continued to sign checks, and members of the board of directors conspired to cover up this issue. The Chairperson/Director also signed checks, many made out to the Director. It was also discovered there were a considerable number of blank checks cashed, with no name on the checks as to whom paid.

A review of meeting minutes and bank statements partially produced per court order reveal over $3,200 of store purchases made with no receipts provided. The checks reveal the funds were utilized to purchase goods at surrounding retail stores apparently for the personal benefit of the Director/Chairperson. A review of the bank statements and records provided demonstrates there were fewer than 16% of receipts on hand for purchases by the Chairperson/Director who handled funds and signed the checks. There were also cash donations not properly handled.

The Chairperson/Director/Curator has also refused to return loaned property totaling $650, a receipt was produced but the property was refused to be returned. The loaned property is reflected as such in the Museum accession records which the Chairperson/Director/Curator refuses to produce.

An investigation by law enforcement must occur, as public tax-payer funds have been mismanaged and misappropriated. I have contacted the Scottsboro Police Department and discussed the matter with investigators of the State of Alabama, and I have been informed the District Attorney's Office has been contacted. I cannot determine the outcome, but as a concerned citizen I certainly have a responsibility to insure that misuse of public funds does not occur and report wrong-doing when I see it.

I will discuss with anyone the records I have disclosing the mismanagement of the board of directors and the abuse of tax-payer funds. It is wrongful for anyone to attempt a coverup of any wrong-doing in this matter involving tax-payer funds. I do not think it would be the intention of any responsible official to prevent the release of any information which points to mismanagement or corruption by the Scottsboro Multicultural Board of Directors.

Three previous board members have resigned due to mismanagement of the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation's by the Director/Chairperson. This is a shame. The Scottsboro Boys Museum project, along with the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation's projects, were very worthwhile endeavors and vitally important to this community. As a former board member noted (in their letter of resignation over lack of accountability), this museum is about "teaching that racism and hiding wrong-doing is destructive and harmful to society as a whole." My aim is to reveal any wrong-doing and to protect the public trust.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I JUST WANT TO SAY THAT THE OPPORTUNITY WAS OUT THERE FOR ANYONE AND THE FOUNDER OF THE MUSEUM WHO STARTED THE PROJECT IS DOING GREAT....HOWEVER IF FEEL THE WAY YOU DO ABOUT WHY HAVEN'T BEEN A MUSEUM PRIOR TO A YEAR AGO? YOU COULD HAVE STARTED YOUR OWN AND SHOWING THAT YOU CARE SO MUCH ABOUT THIS PROJECT WHY BAD MOUTH IT

Garry said...

The legal action is very unfortunate. However, public and private funds must be accounted for at all times.

Many folks have worked hard to make the museum a success. Unfortunately there is mismanagement and a misappropriation of funds. Making matters worse is a cover-up of the wrong doing by some board members and a scheme to remove those board members who have attempted to insure accountability.