Hear No Evil, See No Money
“It wasn’t our fault,” the beleaguered president and vice president of the General Employees City of Fort Worth whined, as they tried to explain to 30 or so members of the municipal workers’ labor group last week how $59,400 went missing from its bank account over the past 24 months without either of the two noticing.
Dwain Beaty, the group’s former treasurer, is the alleged culprit (“Payroll Deduction,” Mar. 15, 2006). Beaty told vice president Bill Matysek and others that, using a debit card, he started withdrawing money from the first day he took over in January 2004.
“Did he wipe it out completely?” one member asked. “Pretty much,” Matysek said.
A collective groan went up from the audience.
There is now around $1,100 in an account that should have had more than $60,000, Matysek said. When asked by another member if the board ordered an immediate audit, he said, “There’s no money for one.”
That drew an angry response from association member and assistant city auditor Ron Price. “My supervisor has requested a copy of your books” for weeks, he said, in order “to do the audit free of charge. And you have consistently ignored us.”
What angered the gathering most seemed to be that neither Matysek nor president Bruce Simon would take responsibility for “failing in your fiduciary duties” as Kevin Hansen put it, as well as “refusing to let anyone in this group see the books for the past two years. … We want to know what else you’re hiding.”
Others accused the board of violating the group’s bylaws and its nonprofit status under the IRS code by those refusals to let members see the books. Matysek denied that the board had violated the law because he was told by “someone” in the Texas Secretary of State’s office that the founding members never filed as a nonprofit corporation with the state and therefore the association wasn’t subject to “open records requests. … We aren’t an official group, there are no official by-laws,” ergo, “there are no rules to violate.”
Gee, wonder who Matysek spoke with. A quick check with the corporations section of the secretary of state’s office shows that the General Employees City of Fort Worth filed as a “domestic nonprofit” on Jan. 8, 2001.
Current status? “In existence.” A phrase that may not apply much longer to this board, if the members at the meeting have anything to do with it.