As a nonprofit board, when your single biggest funder says it is suspicious about the way you do business and the way you spend your money, you should sit-up and say "where have I been and what should I do next?"
According to the Chicago Tribune, Annie B. Jones Community Center "is being investigated by state officials for using taxpayer funds to pay for its founder's condo, car and other personal expenses.. State funds also were used to subsidize the former nonprofit leader's expenses related to riverboat casino ATM withdrawals, parking tickets, prescription medication and spa services, according to state officials and records."
But wait, there's more:
DCFS continued to financially support the nonprofit despite long-standing concerns about its management practices, finances, "bounced checks" and a warning a decade ago that it should cut ties, the newspaper found. The nonprofit stands to receive another nearly $1 million in taxpayer money this fiscal year from other public sources.
The apparent lack of oversight has drawn fire from DCFS Inspector General Denise Kane.
"While the private agency was to blame for excessive mismanagement of public funds, (DCFS) stood by for nearly a decade noting the agency's substantial deficit, lack of board oversight, failure to timely prove requested documentation and failure to comply with prior audit findings," Kane wrote in a recent stinging report.
So, who's got the problem now? Well, clearly the State has not been on its "A" game when it comes to the agency in question (and later in the article there is some evidence of political connections helping with this). But, the agency's board -- clearly not in charge and not fulfilling its fiduciary duty. What to do? Me, I'd change management and the board but not without getting at a better understanding of what exactly is the relationship between the management and board recognizing that perhaps replacing just management will fix the problems going forward. This is doubtful but I have to believe that ineptness does not supplant the best of intentions -- a group of community members who really want to serve. Still, this many years of ineptness?