This post has already been read 157 times!
“At this time, the Council on Black Minnesotans’ board chairwomen has declined interviews. If she had done an interview, it would have been the first time in over 20 years the general public has heard from a seated chairperson of the COBM.”
by Donald W.R. Allen, II – Editor in Chief/IBNN NEWS and Black Politics in Minneapolis
IBNN NEWS has learned a formal request for investigation has been issued by COBM board member Mr. Rosenblum requesting the OLA to look into the use (or non-use) of funds in excess of $1 million dollars labeled as “Tobacco Money.”
IBNN has reported on the Tobacco Money, but still has not gotten any answers on why there has been no forums, advertising campaigns or outreach that can be seen. To further confirm this, pick up the phone and call any of the Black media outlets and ask them how much the COBM has spent with them in the last 10 years. It wouldn’t be a surprise to hear zero!
How do you engage the Black community without telling them within their “communication” circles? This example is much like the Northside Community Response Team limp efforts for outreach – but someone will still walk away with a $10,000 contract for “events.”
Read the report issued by the Office of the Legislative Auditor, then you’ll wonder too, what happened to the money? This new request comes on the heels of an investigation already underway that seems like a witch hunt considering the OFFICE OF THE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR knew about the fiduciary misconduct by the council and executive director as early as 2005. Read the report here-OLA Audit 2005_2008 COBM (READ FIRST) SSDD
After reviewing the report, it mentions the following: (Keep in mind this is from 2005)
- The council staff did not consistently review a key payroll report. In addition, staff did not review another key payroll report and did not control who had backup authorization to approve hours worked and leave taken. (Finding 1, page 7)’
- The council did not conduct performance reviews of the executive director, as required by statute. (Finding 2, page 8)
- The council incurred expenses without adequate documentation to justify the public purpose of the expenses. (Finding 3, page 9)
Again, the Office of the Legislative Auditor knew this as early as 2005.
The Tobacco Money is a whole different ballgame. If the COBM was having challenges in with their day-to-day budget items, how could they be expected to follow-through with fiduciary integrity and issue out money to fight ‘cigarettes?” It’s unclear who actually used the money.
We do know that African American Family Services (AAFS) received a large “chunk” of the pie under the former executive director who coincidentally served as the secretary of the COBM. Mmmmm?
Read the report here- Tobacco Money Report_COBM (SEE WHO GETS $800K)
The new request for investigation reads:
“Considering the recent investigation, its Findings, previous audits, and the Council on Black Minnesotans ED, the subject thereof, as a current Board member of this entity, I demand in compliance with all law and CODE OF ETHICS an immediate investigation into the use of (was it 1 million dollars in money) given to the COBM for the use of a Tobacco project. It would make good practice for such an investigation considering the current Findings regarding the leader of the COBM daily office operations, Mr. Collins.”
PLEASE respond without delay.
COBM – BOD
# # #
Someone said, “If it’s broke, fix it.” It looks like “broke” is always better when it comes to issues in the Black community. Another example of institutionalized racism at it’s finest.
What will the argument be now?
This is sure to be a hot one.