Update from Executive Committee
Since the Executive Committee’s last message nearly two weeks ago, activities can be summed up best by the phrase "Moving ahead well".
SSA's past due 990 Federal Income Tax Reporting Forms for Non Profit Organizations for years 2004 and 2005 were filed two days ago, making the Society completely up to date with the IRS. There has been no word from the IRS regarding interest or penalties that could be imposed on the federal payroll withholding taxes that have already been submitted. I have been told that "No news is good news" when it comes to the IRS. We continue to keep our fingers crossed that no penalties will be imposed.
Work continues on discovery of evidence of apparent fraud carried out by Alan Gleason, who will next appear in court on November 22nd. We are still awaiting the last set of records from Bank of America (reports of wire transfers during '02-'05). It has been extremely difficult to obtain records from this institution. In an effort to assist us, the Hobbs Police Department recently served B of A with a search warrant for the records we requested months ago. Evidence of apparent fraud now totals over $165,000.
Regarding another issue entirely: I have recently been asked why the minutes of the October 1 st full Board meeting in Albuquerque have not yet been posted on the SSA website. It's a good and fair question. Here is how minutes are generated and posted:
Denise Layton takes notes at our full Board meetings. In the past, the Executive Director would use them to generate draft minutes, and send them to the SSA Secretary (over the past two years, Dean Carswell) for final review and posting. That process typically took several months. With no Executive Director, Denise sent her notes of the October meeting to Dean a few weeks after it took place. While Dean has been working on them diligently (they are nearly complete), he has had a few "distractions".
As SSA Secretary, Dean is also responsible for the minutes of all Executive Committee meetings (where he takes notes himself). There have been five Excomm meetings since the October 1st Board meeting, and with the exception of the last Excomm meeting on November 7th (still not posted because Dean is out of the country until November 22nd), the minutes of all have been posted online in less than a week. Additionally, Dean is also our "point man" in dealing with SSA's attorney and forensic accountant for recovery of funds. It should also be noted that the most critical issues discussed during the October Board meeting have been referred to in subsequent Excomm meeting minutes already posted.
While I know this is going to sound like an excuse right up there with "The dog ate my homework assignment…" last week the Carswell house in Midlothian TX was struck by lightning (really). It blew a 10 foot hole in the roof while Dean and his wife Tammie were trying to sleep through a storm, traveled down two floors, and exited to ground along the path of his internet access. The strike essentially fried everything electrical in the house, including wiring and all computers, but fortunately caused no fire. It remains to be seen if any of the Board minutes Dean had on his hard drive are recoverable, but at least he had printed out an interim version before things blew.
Minutes of the October 1st Board and November 7th Excomm meetings will be posted as soon as possible, after Dean’s return to the US.
I find it a bit incredible that there have been 22 Excomm meetings (conference calls) since the "crisis" developed in early August. That's more than five year's worth of meetings under normal circumstances (Excomm usually meets face to face four times per year, with an occasional brief telephone conference when required by specific issues). Additionally, without an Executive Director and CFAO, members of Excomm have divided responsibilities for office oversight. We feel all of our staff, (in particular Office Administrator Denise Layton) have been doing a spectacular job.
Between hard-copy membership letters, special editions of eNews, and postings on our website, I believe that in the 75 year history of the Society, SSA membership has never been kept better informed, and we will continue to strive to keep that the case.
Jim Skydell, First Vice Chair