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Ursinus board chair steps down over controversial tweets
Under fire for controversial online posts, the chair of Ursinus College's board of trustees has stepped down, college President Brock Blomberg announced in an email to faculty and students Thursday evening.
560 points by The Philadelphia Inquirer | Board of directors Fiduciary University Trustee Corporate governance Chairman Management Liberal arts college
Cleveland Beer Week director accused of stealing $40,000 in scholarship money
Christine Montague, 48, is accused of stealing more than $40,000 from Cleveland Beer Week's scholarship funds. Christine MontagueBedford City Jail  CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The program director of Cleveland Beer Week is accused of stealing $40,000 in charitable donations that the organization uses to fund scholarships. Christine Montague, 48, is charged with grand theft and forgery. She is scheduled for arraignment Sept. 21 in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. Montague stole $44,849 from Cleveland Beer Week during a two-year span from January 2014 to the end of 2015, according to court records. Montague, who served as the program's director since 2009, siphoned funds donated to the organization for the Malone Foundation scholarship program, according to court records. She earned a $10,000 yearly salary to serve as the program's director and the public face of the event giving interviews to media outlets promoting the event. But instead of sending the payments to the scholarship fund, she paid herself, according to a Bedford Heights police investigation. Montague was arrested Aug. 8 and is free on a $25,000 surety bond. She did not immediately return a call seeking comment. John Lane, of the Winking Lizard, who is one of four operating board members for Cleveland Beer Week, said he couldn't elaborate on the charges or how the organization found out about the missing money. Bedford Heights police did not provide a copy of the police report on Thursday. "We absolutely can't do as much for the charity," Lane said. "We're trying to keep our momentum going forward and just move on." Another board member, Ed Thompkins of Heinen's, said the theft has not impacted this year's Beer Week, set for Oct. 14 through Oct. 22. "Basically, we're still going full steam ahead," Thompkins said. To comment on this story, please visit our crime and courts comments section.
394 points by The Plain Dealer | Cuyahoga County Ohio Scholarship Corporate governance Crime Fiduciary Board of directors Scholarships Bedford Ohio
Ursinus College controversy erupts over board chairman's tweets
Tweets by the chairman of Ursinus College's board of trustees have drawn ire from some students and at least one fellow board member, who called them "elitist, racist, sexist, body-shaming," and "generally intolerant," and resigned over them Sunday.
1091 points by The Philadelphia Inquirer | Board of directors Fiduciary Trustee Corporate governance Chairman Management Stock Twitter
The fiduciary rule and you
President Donald Trump's administration is working to dismantle a complex set of financial rules including the "fiduciary rule," which requires certain financial professionals to act in their clients' best interests when providing retirement advice.
-2 points by Arizona Daily Star | Investment Financial adviser Finance Risk Stock Donald Trump Fiduciary Trustee
Head Start board insists it legally fired agency CEO -- who remains on the job
The board's actions toward the agency CEO Tuesday follow cleveland.com's inquiry into the lawsuit and into the board's oversight. Board members have not responded to direct questions from cleveland.com. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The board governing the Council for Economic Opportunities of Greater Cleveland - which operates Ohio's largest Head Start preschool program -- said in a statement Tuesday that it fired its CEO Jacklyn Chisholm in October 2016, citing among other things, low-enrollment figures in the agency's programs. The board said in its statement that enrollment in Head Start programs is 60 percent, the "lowest point in our history." But Chisholm said Tuesday that the enrollment figure cited in the board's statement is wrong. She released a spread sheet showing enrollment in the agency's preschool programs (ages 3 to 5) is 78 percent and enrollment in programs for children (newborns to age 3) is 90 percent. Brian Wright, a spokesman for the board, later amended the board's enrollment figure to 66 percent, which he said is based on a third-party assessment. Wright said the board can't verify the  figures released to cleveland.com by Chisholm. Chisholm has remained on the job of the anti-poverty agency since the board's October effort to fire her and a move Tuesday to remove her from the office. She disputes the legality of the board's actions and has sued the board's leadership. The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the board's leadership violated its fiduciary responsibility, improperly fired her, defamed her and retaliated against her.  At around 1 p.m. Tuesday, Cecelia Williams, who was recently elected to be the board's new chairwoman, entered the agency's downtown headquarters with a uniformed Cleveland police officer by her side. Williams delivered a letter to Chisholm that says the board's October vote to terminate her stands and that she needs to vacate the premises immediately. "The new [board] officers would like to follow up on this matter and bring it to close so the agency can move forward," the letter reads. Chisholm, who was with her personal attorney at the time, refused to leave and challenged the the letter and the police officer's authority in the matter. Williams and the officers left and Chisholm remained in her office. The board's actions to remove Chisholm Tuesday, and its statement about her performance, follow cleveland.com's inquiry into the lawsuit and into the board's oversight. Board members have not responded to direct questions from cleveland.com. Read the backstory on the battle between Head Start's board and its CEO Here is the board's full statement:  The following statement was made today by CEOGC Chairperson Dr. Cecelia Williams on the termination and removal of CEOGC Executive Director Jackie Chisholm. "The children and families in our community come first and as a leading organization charged with shaping young lives we will provide the highest quality services possible. Our Board is dedicated to strong community relationships, tightly managing finances and boosting our organization's enrollment of children in quality programs. We feel the organization has failed to live up to the Board's expectations as enrollment is currently at 66%, the lowest point in our history. Former President Chisholm was unable to meet the goals set forth at the time of her hiring and because of that we have no choice but to change the leadership of our organization to better serve our community. As we secure new leadership there will be no lapses or changes in services for the people who depend on us." - Dr. Cecelia Williams, Chairperson 
6 points by The Plain Dealer | Board of directors Chairman Management Fiduciary Executive director Stock Managing director Non-executive director
Board of Cleveland's Head Start agency adding to messy legacy: Mark Naymik
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The board governing the anti-poverty agency that runs Ohio's largest Head Start preschool program is a mess and deserves immediate scrutiny from community leaders, public officials and government funders who value the agency's programs. The agency is the Council for Economic Opportunities of Greater Cleveland, and the agency's CEO of less than two years has filed... CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The board governing the anti-poverty agency that runs Ohio's largest Head Start preschool program is a mess and deserves immediate scrutiny from community leaders, public officials and government funders who value the agency's programs. The agency is the Council for Economic Opportunities of Greater Cleveland, and the agency's CEO of less than two years has filed a lawsuit against some board members that includes allegations of attempted patronage hiring, misuse of an agency van, improper voting by board members and retaliation. What makes these allegations particularly troubling is that this same agency was embroiled in a scandal that culminated in 2014 with its longtime executive director, Jacqueline Middleton, pleading guilty to bribery, fraud and conspiracy charges. Now rid of Middleton, the current board should not be squandering the opportunity to break from the very past it claimed in May 2015 that it wanted to leave behind by hiring Jacklyn Chisholm as its new CEO to right the agency and improve its reputation.  Chisolm's challenge was formidable. The agency, which has a $40 million taxpayer-funded budget and provides numerous services to the poor, had been mired in a decade of controversy related to the abuse of salaries and expenses, patronage, an inattentive board of directors and the ineffectiveness of some of its programs. And at times in the past, politicians and community leaders, including former Cleveland city council members Fannie Lewis and George Forbes, have tried to influence the agency's operations. Chisholm, who has three degrees from Case Western Reserve University and is a former vice president of planning and external affairs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, took the mission of reform to heart and began to review all aspects of the agency, according to agency documents. She examined agency contracts. She met one-on-one with employees. She hired new people in key positions and brought in several consultants, including one to review the agency's finances. And Chisholm started scrutinizing the board, which includes several members who served during the agency's troubled past. She reviewed meeting minutes and the board's past actions and practices. In November 2015, she flagged several issues she felt violated the board's own bylaws, which I'll detail in a moment. That's when the board's leadership - notably The Rev. Charles Lucas, the board chairman - began trying to limit Chisholm's authority, including her ability to hire top staff and consultants, according to the lawsuit and agency documents. Then, in October 2016, the board's executive committee, which includes Lucas and board treasurer, Amos Z. Mahsua, voted to fire her. Chisholm refused to leave the agency and began fighting back, backed by an opinion from the board's own attorney that the meeting was not properly called and that only the full board, not the executive committee, could fire her. A week after her firing, Chisholm filed a whistleblower complaint with the agency's human resource department and later sued Lucas and several of his allies on the board. The lawsuit, filed December 8, 2016, in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court charges, among other things,  accuses the board's leadership of violating its fiduciary responsibility, improperly firing her and defaming her. (The case was moved to federal court after attorneys for the board argued the allegations raised involve matters of federal law.) Brian Wright, a hired spokesman for the board called me  at 10:30 a.m. today to say that the board would be making a major announcement shortly, but he would not detail the nature of announcement. I will update this post when we get the actual announcement. But Wright offered a response to some questions raised in the lawsuit and his responses are detailed below. Turning the mirror on board Here are some of the allegations that Chisholm makes in the lawsuit. *The board term of Mahsua has expired, yet he continues to sit on the executive committee and casts votes. (Terms run eight years.) * Lucas, who uses a wheelchair, had been using the agency's handicapped-accessible van for agency meetings and personal business. Chisholm documented 60 hours of time the van's driver -- who is paid with federal Head Start funds -- spent chauffeuring Lucas, the lawsuit states. The agency then repaid the federal government $2,000 for the driver's time. *Lucas pressed Chisholm to hire a member of Lucas' church board as the agency's chief of staff.   *After voting to fire Chisholm, Lucas began telling people inside and outside the agency that Chisholm was no longer in charge and should be ignored. Yet Chisholm continues to serve as executive director and work in an agency office at 1801 Superior Ave. I reached out to Lucas. He did not respond to questions. The board's attorney, Inajo Davis Chappell of the law firm Ulmer & Berne, said she cannot comment because of Chisholm's lawsuit. Chappell referred me to Gregory Guice of the law firm Reminger Co., which is defending the board against Chisholm's suit. Guice did not respond to a request for comment. His legal brief in the suit denies all the allegations in Chisholm's lawsuit and asserts that a "quorum amount of board members" voted to terminate the CEO. Chisholm referred questions to her attorney, Thomas Colaluca, who directed me to the lawsuit and related documents. Battling over bylaws One of the lawsuit's most striking allegations is that the board fails to follow its own bylaws. Here are a few examples, according the lawsuit and to agency records.  *Lucas has stated that in 2010 the board reset the tenure of board members, though no documents exist to support such a move by the full board. *After Lucas and the executive committee moved to fire Chisholm, she requested that the matter be resolved at its upcoming annual meeting. Lucas, according to the lawsuit, delayed the meeting five times while he tried to line up enough votes to fire Chisholm. *After Chisholm told Lucas she did not intend to hire the member of his church (who ultimately withdrew his name from consideration), the executive moved to temporarily prohibit Chisholm from hiring additional staff and consultants, the lawsuit states. *Lucas directed Chisholm to prepare a resolution giving him a special title of  "Chair Emeritus." Chisholm said she couldn't comply because before such a designation would require a change to the board's bylaws, according to agency records. *Lucas directed Chisholm to write resolutions honoring him, the lawsuit states. One would name the reception area of the agency's offices in his honor. Another one would require that the agency hold a public event dedicating a reception area to Lucas. (These resolutions were never formally approved by the board, but the agency still named the reception in Lucas' honor. A plaque hangs in the reception area.) Wright, a spokesman for the board, said that the board's October firing of Chisholm is valid and stands and that all board members' terms were active. He said that Lucas never used the van for anything other than agency meetings. Wright also said that the agency's former treasurer reported to the board that Chisholm "overspent" $278,000 of agency money. Finally, he said that the board resisted Chisholm's efforts to hire outside consultants to review books because people were already in place to handle the matter internally.   Remember the children Late last month, Lucas finally convened an annual board meeting during which several new people were added to the board and new officers were elected. But the board did not take a vote on Chisholm. It's unclear why. Lucas and Mahsua are still on the board, along with Robert Black, Cecelia Williams, Arlene Anderson and Monique Olowu, all of whom are named in Chisholm's suit. If Lucas and Mahsua and the others really care about the neediest people of our region, they need to step aside or start following their bylaws and clean up their acts.
16 points by The Plain Dealer | Board of directors Executive director Non-executive director Fiduciary Management Managing director Corporate governance Ostensible authority
Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company apologizes for ambulance billing error [Letter]
The following letter to the editor was received Monday from the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company. ED. Dear citizens: The Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company takes your trust very seriously. Most recently our ambulance club billing notices were erroneously sent out twice by the company we use to process...
-2 points by Baltimore Sun | Receipt Black-and-white films Management Corporation Business terms Blacklist Fire department Fiduciary
Harford Community College trustees roll back next year's tuition increase to 2 percent
Board acts in anticipation of supplemental funding proposed by governor
-2 points by Baltimore Sun | Board of directors Trustee Fiduciary Corporate governance College Harford County Maryland Revenue Community college
A group of investors is trying to oust Mark Zuckerberg as Facebook's chairman
Mark Zuckerberg should give up some of his control over Facebook by relinquishing his position as chairman of the board, according to a new proposal by a consumer watchdog group and a few shareholders. The proposal, led by SumOfUs, claims that Facebook's future success requires "a balance of power...
301 points by Chicago Tribune | Board of directors Corporate governance Stock Corporate title Fiduciary Management Stock market Share
How a Facebook post led to women protesting being left out of local politics
In Arlington Heights, a Facebook post by a candidate for the village board appears to have resulted in the revelation of a deep division in town, with scores of residents – mostly women – packing Village Hall to decry what they called the "backdoor boys' club" of local government. Dr. Kathleen...
148 points by Chicago Tribune | Board of directors Trustee Local government in the United States Fiduciary Facebook Resident The Residents George W. Bush
Parent company in bankruptcy, Stone's Cove Kitbar in Bel Air stays open
Despite its parent company filing for bankruptcy, Stone's Cove Kitbar, in the Bel Air Town Center at Route 24 and Belair Road remains open. The limited liability corporation with the same name filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in federal district court on Jan. 7. The day before, the company sold all of...
-2 points by Baltimore Sun | Board of directors Corporation Fiduciary Chairman Types of business entity Corporate governance Management Bel Air Harford County Maryland
PolitiFact: President is exempt from conflict-of-interest laws
During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union on Sunday, Rudy Giuliani said financial conflict-of-interest “laws don’t apply to the president, right? So, the president doesn’t have to have a blind trust.”Our rulingGiuliani said financial conflict-of-interest “laws don’t apply to the president, ri...
33 points by Concord Monitor | United States Law President of the United States Federal government of the United States Rudy Giuliani President People from New York City Fiduciary
Chicago State University president to be paid severance within days
Chicago State University's former president will receive half of a $600,000 severance deal within days and the other half in January, payouts that will put more pressure on the already strained finances of the South Side institution. The deal also calls for Thomas Calhoun Jr. to move out of the...
90 points by Chicago Tribune | Board of directors Contract Fiduciary President Trustee Corporate governance Termination of employment Management
SunEdison spinoffs veer from bankrupt company
When SunEdison filed for Chapter 11 in April, its spinoff companies seemed determined to stand on their own. Five months later, they are singing a different tune. On Monday, TerraForm Power and TerraForm Global, which were spun off from SunEdison in 2014 and 2015, respectively, said that they have begun to explore strategic alternatives. A...
9 points by New York Post | Stock Stock market Shareholder Share Brookfield Asset Management Stakeholder Fiduciary Monday
Penn State board members chafe at proposal limiting public speech
STATE COLLEGE - Some trustees at Pennsylvania State University are balking at a board proposal that would discourage them from talking publicly about a university matter outside of a board meeting without prior approval of the board chairman.
-1 points by The Philadelphia Inquirer | Board of directors Fiduciary Management Trustee Corporate governance Chairman President Stock
A board director who acts unilaterally may not be protected by the business judgment rule
Question:  I am one of five board directors at our homeowners association. The problem is that one director thinks he knows it all and goes it alone. He decides what invoices to pay. He decides what contracts we need and signs them. He decides which security guard company, attorney and manager...
11 points by Los Angeles Times | Board of directors Trial court Appeal Fiduciary Decision making Appellate court Stock Court