In The Spirit Of Openness

I regret to inform you that the Legion of Tech Board of Directors (“Board”) recently discovered that a previous board member had taken money from the organization.  That person spent thousands of dollars on personal expenses using a credit card that the Board was unaware carried a balance.  That card was connected to a bank account that the former director was to have closed months ago.  The account remained open and the former director wrote personal checks from the money in the account–money that was to have been transferred to the new bank account upon its close.

Upon learning of this fraud last week, the Board acted swiftly to hold an emergency board meeting.  Actions were taken to freeze both accounts and the individual was removed from the Board.

The Board has appointed myself (Adam DuVander) and Raven Zachary as the team to deal with this matter on behalf of the Board. Additionally, the board elected Raven Zachary to serve as interim chair for the remainder of 2009.

How does something like this happen?  First, remember that we are volunteers that are motivated to bring people together for great events.  To pull off something like Ignite Portland or BarCamp, all the organizers need to count on each other to do their part.  The same is true on the Board.  At this point it probably goes without saying that we misplaced our trust.

As current treasurer, this discovery came after months of repeated attempts to gain access to the financial records for the account where the fraud took place.  Prior to this event, I never had any association with the account, outside of receiving a check for what I was told was the closing balance.

The new account at a different bank of which I do have control, has always had an up-to-date accounting available to the finance committee.  In addition, we have improved our financial process.  All expenses, of which we have few, will be signed by myself and another Board member.  Additionally, all Board members will be aware of each expense.

With the assistance of an attorney, the Board is attempting to reach an agreement with the former Board member to repay all funds.  It was only the pursuit of this agreement, on the advice of our counsel, that kept us from making this matter public earlier.  Know that we have and will share as much as we possibly can.

Thank you for taking the time to understand this issue.  Legion of Tech remains committed to producing Ignite Portland, BarCamp Portland, and related events.

Update: Raven posted a comment below with additional clarification – please read it.