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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

LA Times & Zuma Times Each Have Stories Today About SHADY Charters/Non-Profits

Huh...huh...huh...I TOLD yo azzes these (warm and fuzzy) non-profits are the shadiest racket in town. LA Times has a story about, "a Highland Park charter school facing allegations of financial impropriety, gross mismanagement and academic shortcomings from a group of former employees and parents who formerly enrolled their children at the school." LAT on Shady Charter

But here's a REAL bombshell for Mayor Sam's Sister City readers that you WILL NOT read anywhere else, unless they pick it up off this blog. (Which I sure as hell hope they do!) In other words...MAYOR SAM EXCLUSIVE AND CITIZENS' ALERT REGARDING THE FRAUD, WASTE AND ABUSE OF YOUR PUBLIC MONEY THROUGH THIS NON-PROFIT RACKET. (As in "Racketeering" -- and ZD says that's what this whole non-profit scam is, too much of the time!)

Shadiest of NON-PROFIT Charter School and (Cahoots Partner) After School Program Fire Employee After He Refuses To FORGE Attendance Signatures To Help Hit The Quota (It Wasn’t Even Close!)
By Zuma Dogg
Staff Writer, Zuma Times and Mayor Sam's Blog

Here’s the story as it was told to Zuma Dogg by someone who contacted Mayor Sam. (Thanks to Mayor Sam for assigning me the story, since it was in-line with my previous stories on these shady-as-hell, non-profit rackets.)

Randy was working for Woodcraft Rangers, an “after school” (non-profit) program that has been in existence for over fifty years. (www.woodcraftrangers.org.)

In addition to the 30 hours he was working at Woodcraft, as “side project coordinator”, he was also assigned 10 hours a week at CityLife Charter. (Both located in Downtown L.A.)

Randy told ZD that in his view the person who ran the Charter (Jackie Breger, President/CEO.), “Ran it like a (autocrat)”. She wanted it HER way.” And as you will find, “HER” way is not necessarily the way the State wanted it. Maybe that’s why they ended up losing their grant money and are now closed. (“Autocrat” is less offensive than the actual word used, ”dictator”.)

For example, everyone knows Charters are not private schools and are supposed to be “open enrollments”.

However, at least one employee for CityLife was allegedly TOLD which students to accept first (handed a list) – and any slots left over could be used for anyone else (open enrollment). (Well…isn’t THAT considerate!)

But after being allegedly pressured by Jackie of CityLife (Charter) and Randy’s supervisor at Woodcraft (After School Program) to make up attendance signatures (since they were far short of the required 60 per day, in order to receive the public grant money); Randy says he was fired from both jobs.

So why was Jackie (of the Charter school) reportedly pressuring her employee to illegally forge signatures for someone else’s after school program? Jackie’s CityLife was getting money for her students’ after school program. But since CityLife didn’t have an after school program, the kids and program were being “sub-contracted” out to Woodcraft. So both were apparently getting money!!! (A win-win!)

THE WHOLE ENCHILADA, FROM THE TOP (02/07-04/07)

CLICK READ MORE

He claims to have had many conversations with Jackie where he says he was told, “If you make them up…you make them up.” (Signatures for the after school Woodcraft after school program.)

Jackie allegedly told Randy that she was making an after school program and that, “at first we may have to make up some signatures.”

Randy said, “I can’t do that. That’s not what I do.”

(And even though he was scheduled for 10 hours a week at CityLife, he really didn’t do anything there, and spent most of the hours at Woodcraft. So that’s a waste of public non-profit money, too.)

After he refused to make up signatures for the new after school program, he claims he was switched to another school in which to recruit kids for Woodcraft.

HOW THIS BECAME RANDY’S PROBLEM OUT OF NOWHERE

Randy says that when he first took the position he became suspicious the previous guy (previous side project coordinator) was allegedly making up a majority of the required attendance signatures. (The projects are paid by attendance – and if they are getting less than 60 signatures, they lose the grant money.)

When Randy took over, he was told there we 60 kids, per day. However, as soon as Randy took over, he was noticing only about 20 kids, per day. (And he says it was usually LESS than 20.)

Truth, as it was told to ZD, is that the kids didn’t like the previous guy (who Randy was brought in to replace), and that’s why the attendance was ESPECIALLY low.

Randy went to “Joe”, a site-coordinator and said, “Hey, there are far from 60 kids.” (There are supposed to be at least 12 kids per adult. With far less kids showing up, the government and the community isn’t getting their money’s worth – and nothing gets accomplished.)

Tracy Mostovoy (Boss of Woodcraft), is also the sister of the Woodcraft CEO, Cathie Mostovoy. So Randy wanted to bring it up to Tracy, in advance, so it wouldn’t reflect badly upon him (appearing as it immediately dropped below 20 as soon as he took over).

In 2005, Cathie reportedly took a salary of $122,692 as CEO. (For that amount of money, she should be doing the outreach, herself – instead of turning a blind eye while her employees forged signatures and de-fraud the community and U.S. government out of public grant money. (AND EVEN WORSE – KIDS AREN’T GETTING THE ATTENTION AND HELP THEY NEED – AND THE PROBLEM WORSENS ON OUR STREETS AND IN OUR SOCIETY. (In case you were wondering why I give a sh*t!)

Tracy said that she would look into it. But nothing ever happened.

Before the summer break, Randy went to the Program Director (“Joe”) and asked what the plans were for the summer.

But, although Randy was able to actually boost the numbers up to 40 (in reality, without forging), he still felt he was under pressure/duress to keep the numbers at 60. [Says he got the numbers up to 40 with a soccer program, and more outreach on his own. Plus, going to other programs that need kids for the numbers – and sharing students/cross promoting programs (which is cool). But it was STILL tough to even sustain that.]

He was asked about the low numbers and had to inform Joe (his director) about the past problem, where the other guy was making them up to hit the mandatory quotas. (Deming HATED quotas for this EXACT reason.)

Two weeks later, Tracy fired Randy. He was told he was a really nice guy, and that they wanted to keep him in the company, and that they still wanted him to be there…but he needed to submit his resume for further consideration in another area. (Like an area that doesn’t require him to forge signatures.) He submitted (because at the time he didn’t realize it was a big bamboozle) – and, of course, he’s still waiting by the phone for the promotion.

Meanwhile, Randy has re-bounded and found a “bright” non-profit (not shady) and is doing good, good work.

MORE TO COME…Featuring Zuma Dogg’s new “SUPER-PREMIUM Shady Searchers”. (Well test it out on this story, then focus it on bigger and shadier fish.)

zumadogg@gmail.com

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Zuma,

You want to go after the non-profits, start with LAUSD and Eli Broad. Take a look at their Beaudry Administration building. In the 90's, no one wanted to buy that building becuase of shoddy contruction - quite literally, it was falling down, ask any inspector. But Eli buys its and then leases it to LAUSD, but get this, LAUSD has to fork over 100's of millions to refurbish the building, that they do not own. Follow the trail, it all leads back to Antonio Villar.

September 25, 2007 8:34 AM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

8:34am,

Thanks! You are soooooooo right...

You're making more work for me. But it's so worth it!

September 25, 2007 9:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey DOGG,

How about the Non-profit that does not provide the "SHADE" ? One Million Trees Initaitve

September 25, 2007 10:37 AM  

Anonymous zuma dogg said:

LOL! The one non-profit that is supposed to be shady, isn't! Hilarious! Great call...MAN, is that Million Trees LA shady as hell, except for providing shade.

September 25, 2007 10:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What do you expect from a Mexican school - a place that turns out loads of future CEOs and MIT and Caltech grads? No, you expect more Mexico, cause that's what you'll get.

September 25, 2007 11:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

to this day woodcraft rangers is not a great after school program to have at any school site...and the fact that Randy had to pull numbers and signatures ligally the program does not care....because i'm sure that Randy put in excessive hours of his own that may have not been compincated...i'm sure at this pijnt that he was not...working for woodcraft rangers for a month and i am not pleased...as i seem to be going through the same thing...and trust me woodcraft will definatly pay on my behalf...

November 16, 2010 8:31 PM  

Blogger Anon said:

Let's say I've worked inside of woodcraft for many years and I don't know that Cathie ever told anyone to forge names or get fake numbers, but the pressure was there that made people do many bad things. I've seen data within the system that would make your head do loop-d-loops for how much grant money they were getting. One thing that used to drive me crazy was the amount of grant money they would receive for services provided in which alll they did was give out crackers and milk. If you only knew the whole of it.

December 19, 2011 11:36 AM  

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