Friday, August 19, 2011

Heifer CEO Suing Board For $5 Million

We just put an article up on our website in which we learn that Heifer International Foundation CEO Domingo Barrios is suing the organization's board for $5 million in damages.  Barrios was suspended for allegedly violating confidentiality rules.  He claims that the real reason stems from his questioning of their governance practices.  Here's an excerpt from the story:

In his lawsuit, Barrios alleges that Williams and Smith encouraged him to “violate his fiduciary responsibilities” to the foundation by directing him not to reveal “certain pertinent information which would be detrimental to the foundation.” In June, the board approved a resolution that would give Heifer’s CEO the power to decide on unrestricted bequests, permitting the organization “to control and participate in planned giving,” Barrios said, and essentially destroying a primary purpose of the foundation.

Barrios claims he was asked by Smith and Williams not to share the proposal with the foundation until Heifer met to approve the resolution, which he believes violated rules of governance. He informed the foundation’s board of the adverse effect the resolution could have and subsequently was suspended for allegedly violating confidentiality rules and claims by the board chairman that he was “ripping the organizations apart,” according to court documents.

Shannon Boshears, director of communications and research at the foundation, said the organization has not been served with legal papers and does not comment on pending or ongoing litigation.

These situations usually turn out pretty ugly; when bad blood builds up, you never know what can happen.  Get the full scoop on this story at The NonProfit Times.

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