Dear Los Angeles Biocitizen Community,
Thank you for the support you gave Biocitizen as it attempted to share the gift of Field Environmental Philosophy programming with you.
We would like you to know that the LA school closed because the three directors bankrupted it, and concealed its financial problems from the executive board until it was too late to take corrective actions.
Two of them were on the executive board, which would have made it possible to address and solve these problems.
The directors’ malfeasance became obvious only after they had secretly decided to quit in August and September without notifying the board—and more importantly, without preparing and training new directors.
We want you to know that our LA school did not close because the executive board suddenly decided to close it. It closed because the three directors destroyed it.
Had they not abandoned the school in the secretive and selfish way they did, new directors could have taken over with the full backing of the board and your community.
When the three directors abandoned the school, they left us with a $6000 fine for a labor violation that they did not report to the board. It was not a pleasant surprise, but it was characteristic of their bad dealings.
They also cashed a $5000 Highland Park Neighborhood Purpose Grant check meant to fund Field Environmental Philosophy walks with economically disadvantaged youth.
They never provided the service, victimizing everybody involved—except themselves. They pocketed the money and ran. With deepest apologies and shame, we paid the school district back for the money the former directors enriched themselves with.
An unrestricted grant check of $2500 was received by the directors, but never cashed. It became invalid, exacerbating the financial ruin they caused.
The three former directors left at least $120,000 in debts, and multiple business accounts without login information, when they fled what they destroyed. It has taken months to clean up their mess. Our school in Massachusetts is stuck paying off their debts.
Their destruction is not limited to our friends in Los Angeles. They damaged all our other schools and the communities that support them.
There were 4 LA residents on the executive board who formed a voting majority and acted as a bloc, berating other members when they criticized the LA directors lack of governance and mismanagement of the school.
They prevented sound governance of their own school.
They failed to act on the emergency occurring under their noses, and are responsible for the bankruptcy, absconding and malfeasance.
They arranged with the three directors to have directors’ salaries increased to about $100,000 a year, with paid vacations, at the very time they were destroying the school. Getting raises while destroying the school—we did not find this out until after the LA board members resigned in disgrace.
Had they been less selfish, LA would still have Biocitizen programming.
We have issued this statement so you know what happened.
It is important to know that no employee who served under the three directors are implicated in, or culpable for, their misdeeds; they did not know their school was being destroyed.
We recommend you steer clear of these people (except the former non-director employees) and whatever fake Biocitizen they are trying to sell for their own personal profit. (Biocitizen is a non-profit whose mission is to serve the public. Their fake Biocitizen is for profit and its board members hold stocks in the company.) They have bad ethics and can not be trusted.
LA has an excellent Field Environmental Philosophy school called Everlasting Education run by Michael Galano, who co-founded Biocitizen LA in 2017 but left to develop STEAM-oriented curricula. We endorse it and recommend you give it a try.