Former greyhound charity director to pay $40,000 in AG settlement over misuse of donor funds; barred from charity role
The Mass Attorney General's Office found that Louise Coleman breached her fiduciary duty of loyalty to Greyhound Friends, a Massachusetts public charity, through the misuse of charitable funds.
As part of a settlement agreement through the Public Charities Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, Coleman must pay $40,000 to another greyhound charity in Massachusetts, may not accept any official position at Greyhound Friends in the future, whether paid or unpaid, and may not accept a position as a fiduciary at any other Massachusetts public charity.
The AG findings include:
- Louise Coleman used Greyhound Friends assets for her own personal expenses.
- Louise Coleman withdrew cash from a Greyhound Friends bank account totaling tens of thousands of dollars and is unable to account for the use of those funds.
- Louise Coleman made occasional larger (four figure) cash withdrawals from a Greyhound Friends bank account, and is unable to account for the use of all of these funds.
In a separate deal with the AG, the Greyhound Friends board agreed to governance steps and oversight after the Attorney General found the Board of Directors "failed to ensure operations and management decisions in the best interest of the organization." It appears that there has been a vote for some long-time board members, including Greyhound Friends Board President Stoddard Melhado, Ky Melhado, and Adelia Leblanc, to have their terms expire some time in 2019.
Last year, the Mass Dept of Agricultural Resources found that Greyhound Friends neglected the care of sick and injured dogs, including dogs with advanced heartworm disease, aggressive cancer, and severe dental disease. One dog was reportedly left at Greyhound Friends without veterinary care for four days after being attacked by other dogs at the kennel.
Meanwhile, the Hopkinton Board of Selectmen will decide during their Sept 11 meeting whether the kennel license for Greyhound Friends will be revoked or reinstated.