"Further are the scams of the United Way, where the director gets 600k a year and the fund pays for condos in FL, and a condo for his mistress."
Mistress? Is this public? If not, and you know this to be a fact, please start blowing whistles. Among my top 10 things I'd love to see is the Unite Way discredited.
To: John Robertson
The United Way has been busted twice for this. Once was about 1989 and the second time was 3 years ago. Both directors had to resign.
posted on 01/01/2004 9:25:56 AM PST
To: John Robertson
September 3, 2002
United Way Official Knew About Abuses, Memo Says
By DAVID CAY JOHNSTON
Contrary to his public denials, the chief executive of the scandal-ridden United Way in the Washington area was aware of improper financial practices, was involved in them and disregarded those who tried to stop them, one of the charity's top executives has written in a memorandum.
Norman O. Taylor, the beleaguered chief executive of the United Way of the National Capital Area, has repeatedly said he was unaware that expense accounts had been abused, that donations had been inflated to make the agency appear more efficient and that only 52 percent of the gifts from some donors had been passed on to social services charities. Mr. Taylor has also repeatedly denied knowing about a $6,000 a month consulting contract for his predecessor, Oral Suer. The senior executive wrote, however, that Mr. Taylor had arranged that contract.
The accusations were made by Kenneth Unzicker, the director of corporate fund-raising campaigns for United Way in the Washington area, in a four-page memorandum to an ethics committee formed to deal with the charity's crisis.
Mr. Unzicker, who has worked at the agency for 28 years, wrote of his ''grievous concerns about existing policies, practices and conditions'' at the charity. ''In the past 19 months,'' he wrote, ''my attempts to air my concerns have been rebuffed or ignored by Norman Taylor and others in control of the organization.''
The memorandum was dated Aug. 27. A copy was provided to The New York Times by a third party after Mr. Unzicker sent it. The ethics committee, composed of volunteers, will meet today to review the information from Mr. Unzicker and others.
The committee chairman, Prof. Samuel Dash of Georgetown University Law School, sought such information in a meeting last month with United Way staff members at which he promised that they would not face retaliation. In an interview, Professor Dash, who was counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in 1974, restated his determination to protect whistle-blowers.
Calls to Mr. Taylor's home and cellphone yesterday were answered by his wife. He did not call back. Mr. Suer did not respond to messages left on his home telephone.
Mr. Unzicker wrote that he had attended more than a half-dozen meetings at which Mr. Suer had orchestrated Mr. Taylor's appointment as chief executive. ''The strong implication'' of these talks, Mr. Unzicker wrote, ''was that the approval of Mr. Suer's consulting contract was a condition of Mr. Taylor's selection as C.E.O.''
The memorandum says Mr. Suer ''maintained complete control over the selection process'' for his successor. ''Mr. Suer never disclosed to the selection committee the circumstances of Mr. Taylor's departure from the United Way of Baltimore,'' Mr. Unzicker wrote.
Mr. Taylor was ousted as head of the Baltimore United Way in 1995 for what its board members have called sustained unsatisfactory performance. He was paid a six-figure settlement -- the amount was not disclosed -- which was never listed on that charity's Form 990 tax returns, although such disclosure was required by federal law.
''Mr. Taylor flatly denied any knowledge of these contracts'' with Mr. Suer and a second person, Brian Ferguson, at a United Way board meeting and at a briefing last month for agencies that depend on United Way money, Mr. Unzicker wrote. Mr. Ferguson, a videographer, was the organization's publicist under Mr. Suer. Mr. Unzicker wrote that after hearing Mr. Taylor's denials, ''I confronted him with this lie, to which he had no response.''
Mr. Unzicker wrote that in 2000 he grew concerned about expense account abuses by Mr. Suer and others, whom he did not name. He delayed raising the issue, he wrote, until Mr. Taylor took office in February 2001. Mr. Unzicker and his staff felt relieved after the change in executives, he wrote, saying that they expected changes by Mr. Taylor.
''My relief was short-lived,'' Mr. Unzicker wrote. ''The first time I was asked to sign a check written to Mr. Taylor for expense reimbursement turned out to be the last time I was able to sign a check payable to him. I questioned Mr. Taylor about his request for reimbursement of several thousand dollars. I was told that he was paying for Internet service'' for the United Way office that solicits contributions from federal workers, known as the Combined Federal Campaign.
Mr. Unzicker wrote that Mr. Taylor said ''he would provide a more detailed explanation later.''
''I did sign that check,'' Mr. Unzicker added, ''but I was never again asked to sign another check for Mr. Taylor.''
Mr. Unzicker wrote that he and a member of his staff, Dulcy Hooper, had warned Mr. Taylor in February 2001 about ''funny money,'' which was the staff term for inflating donations to make the charity appear to spend a reduced share of its revenue on overhead. Mr. Taylor responded by having Ms. Hooper fired and by shutting Mr. Unzicker out of executive decisions
posted on 01/01/2004 10:45:26 AM PST
To: John Robertson
Charity embezzler gets 7-year term
United Way fraud earns 'tough' time
June 23, 1995
William Aramony, the high-living ex-chief of United Way, was sentenced to seven years in prison Thursday for looting the coffers of the nation's largest charity network.
Aramony's lawyer, William Moffitt, had asked for leniency, saying his client, 68, suffers from a degenerative brain disease and has other medical problems.
"A long sentence is tantamount to a life sentence for Mr. Aramony," he said.
But U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton gave Aramony all but one of the eight years he faced under federal sentencing guidelines. He also must serve three years of probation and was ordered to repay $552,000 in misused funds.
He is expected to surrender to a minimum-security federal prison within four to six weeks, as soon as space becomes available. Until then, he remains free on bond.
Although it isn't known which of the federal prison system's 81 facilities Aramony will be assigned to, Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Dan Dunne said prison life will be much different from the jet-setting lifestyle Aramony enjoyed as head of United Way.
"Living conditions are spartan. It's not 'Club Fed.' The negative impact of confinement is real," he said.
"This is a tough, hard sentence that certainly sends a message to anyone responsible for stewardship of charitable accounts," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Bellows.
In April, Aramony and two former United Way associates, Thomas Merlo, 64, and Stephen Paulachak, 50, were found guilty of federal fraud and conspiracy charges.
Merlo and Paulachak were accused of helping to funnel money to Aramony, as well as themselves.
Merlo was sentenced to four years and seven months in prison and ordered to repay $552,000. Paulachak was sentenced to 2 1/2 years. All say they'll appeal.
During the three-week trial, prosecutors portrayed Aramony as a corrupt womanizer who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of the charity's money to finance flings with young women and trips to Egypt, London, Paris and Las Vegas, among other places.
Bellows put the final tally on the amount Aramony defrauded United Way at $1.2 million, taking into account such things as untraced trips and gifts.
Aramony headed the United Way for 22 years before allegations of financial impropriety forced him to resign in 1992.
The scandal was a stunning blow to the nation's largest charity, which funds 47,000 programs through its 2,100 autonomous locals nationwide.
It caused donations to falter. Hundreds of independent United Way locals withheld dues from the Alexandria, Va.-based national office. The office is now about one-third smaller than before 1992.
United Way officials said the sentencing closes a painful period in the organization's past.
"Obviously, this is a personal tragedy for the individuals involved but a self-inflicted one. It is important that the United Way system direct its focus to the future and not dwell on the past," said board chairman Keith Bailey.
posted on 01/01/2004 11:00:05 AM PST
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson