Barely a year into his tenure as head of the local American Red Cross chapter, CEO Bill Earley is facing allegations he agreed to swap private donor information for personal gain.
The claims are made in a wrongful termination lawsuit lodged in federal court in April by Joy Chesbrough, hired last year as the chief development officer of the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties. She was let go Jan. 5 after only four months on the job.
In the suit, Chesbrough claims Earley retaliated against her for voicing objections to his actions, which she says violate American Red Cross policy and state and federal laws.
“Plaintiff walked into a culture of mismanagement and unethical practices,” according to the lawsuit. “It came to Plaintiff’s attention that sharing donor information externally was previously practiced by, and acceptable to, the Red Cross-SD. When Plaintiff refused to participate in this conduct and sought to put an end to it, she was faced with retaliation and ultimately the wrongful termination of her employment.”
Both local and national American Red Cross officials declined to comment on the reason for Chesbrough’s departure, but deny any wrongdoing or privacy breaches occurred.
“Her allegations are untrue. The Red Cross cannot perform its mission without the generosity of our donors and their personal information is not shared,” a statement released by both offices says.
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Any time large sums of money pool up, the grifters follow. It seems that big-name charities like the Red Cross and United Way have been taken over by incompetent, greedy people.
Of course, without donations, they wouldn't even exist, so if we don't like their performance or behavior, we are free to find another charity to contribute to. Just make sure you do your research.
It is a shame that there are liars and thieves all around us. Think about it, preachers that like to track and 'play;around' with little kids to folks in just about ay line of business willing to sell or give out personal information about customers, affiliates or donors. Just greed and dishonesty. It is not all of them, just a few. .
After the 2001 fire and millions of dollars donated by locals, the Red Cross gave out some blankets and shovels. After and investigation headed by Supervisor Jacobs, I believe, it was found that most of the money went to decorating Dotie's office, and the local office got a new phone system.
Please read up on the on going senate investigation of where the billions of dollars donated to the Haiti relief fund went. the Red Cross claims it built 9 houses with the money. Must be some houses to cost that much.
This is a sorry charity that is more concerned with executive pay and their infrastructure then they are about people in need.
@richard brick You have it wrong. It's not about exec pay, or infrastructure. At the national level, it's about pension obligations and congressional appointments of people who know nothing about running an organization like Red Cross. The Haiti thing makes me sick. Tho, to be accurate, Red Cross didn't spend 'billions" on homes.
At the local level, the problem is staffing the board and local exec management with "connected" people. Dodie Rotherham was the worst, but Jerry Sanders, Ronnie Froman, Tony Young, and now Bill Early are really the canary in the birdcage. We need change. We need a leader who has experience in this kind of nonprofit. Supposedly those people were good to generate donations, so it was all about the money. But as Tony Young stated, a lot of those donations get taken by National. My observation about Tony Young? He did nothing other than show off the organization to his friends. He was a non-entity. Never connected with volunteers. Above us as volunteers.
Red Cross does a lot of good in San Diego, thanks to the 700+ volunteers (we have less than 10 paid staff). As a volunteer, I can tell you that we continue to prepare for disasters, The effort we expend is tremendous and we are concerned with people in need. That's why, during the May wildfires, I worked 12-16 hour days. I wasn't alone. There were hundreds of volunteers who gave their time to help our neighbors and friends. We opened shelters in Carlsbad, San Marcos, and Escondido.
San Diego Red Cross volunteers are ready to step up to whatever happens. 7/24/365.
Why is it legal, in America's Finest City, to buy and sell private personal information without the person's permission?
Large non-profits are so ripe for improper action. The boards typically are not aggressive in oversight, with many on the board for PR purposes. They typically meet once a month and are at he mercy of the Executive Directors doling of information. Despite many large non profits receiving large amounts of public funds, they are not subject to public information transparency requirements. The salaries of the large non-profits can tend to get large, not just for the CEO but for an entire array of 2nd and third tier management staff. They then become creatures of the grant/donations as matter of maintaining the hierarchy. A large non-profit can sometimes morph into a cult of personality for the Executive Director. Board members can actually be sought out by the ED, the person they are intended to provide oversight of. The heavy salaried 2nd and third tier staff are subject to the ED's whims. Typically, I see greater staff turnover at the lower direct service provider level. The Red Cross seems jacked up on all levels.
I would like to see greater transparency for large non-profits. The IRS 990 forms which can be found online are often a good starting point to look at salaries and funding sources.
I am always interested in the lavish fund raising events put on by these large non-profits. These are reported in the IRS 990 forms. The non-profits spend a lot of money to have these events which can manifest in the form of art shows, fashion shows etc. I would love to see reporting on these events, how much they make, costs etc