Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Cronyism, Ethics & Quid pro quo in Laguna Woods Village


 President Straziuso, and Director's of Third Mutual,

I have been bombarded with e-mail's  from the Third Board President, directors and residents on this issue; This is my response!

Were you ever offered entertainment, event tickets, meals or any thing else out of the ordinary day-to-day business that was not offered PUBLICLY to every other director in every other corporation within LWV? Did you at any time, accept any of the gifts offered? If so, we ask that you resign immediately!

We have all been informed that Third Board President Michael Straziuso,1st V.P. Denise Welch and 2nd V.P. Marc Bayer were the recipients of free complimentary tickets to a recent Clippers Basketball Game by corporate counsel, Kelly Richardson.  My question is this, "How many other directors were offered those tickets and other perks, and how many directors were Excluded from this invitation? We know that attorney Richardson excluded some members of the Third board from an invitation to attend the Clippers game with those complimentary tickets, who are they and why?

We know some of the directors chose not to accept the tickets because it was an obvious Violation of Ethics!

 Last Summer, between the hours of 5:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M.  My husband and I observed Mr. Straziuso and Attorney Richardson having dinner together at the Olive Garden restaurant, (in the bar area). We were among several people who witnessed this event, five other residents saw them as well. What was the purpose of this meeting/dinner? Who paid for the dinner? Was this meeting announced publicly? did Third Mutual pay for this dinner? did Kelly Richardson pay and did he count it as part of a business expense and charge Third Laguna Hills Mutual for his time and "Legal Expertise?" How many other dinners or meetings have been held by these two that nobody is aware of and for which members pay, one way or another?

This is the statement of the five witness(es) "Third Mutual President, Mike Straziuso and Attorney,  Kelly Richardson, were having dinner in the Olive Garden the same night we were there. Late Summer... between 5:00 P.M and 7:00 P.M. They were in that little pseudo bar area and they were perched on those ridiculously silly ice cream parlor chairs at a little round table for two. We were actually leaving the restaurant when we saw them. They were laughing and having a great time from all appearance. We remarked at just how much time Richardson would be paid for since they had had a meeting they both attended before the dinner. It may well have been a Board Meeting, there were five of us that evening that saw them having dinner together."

Kelly Richardson just drafted and pushed forth a set of rules for the board, via his selected supporters. One of the items was an agreement about confidentiality. Is Mr. Richardson attempting to imply that dinner with the Mutual President and free entertainment provided for his select group of board supporters falls under the "Confidentiality Rule" therefore revealing this information to the members is unnecessary? Obviously the integrity of the lawyer for the Third Mutual Board is equally important as the directors and his resignation is required!  "Cronyism"  & "Quid Pro Quo" are alive and thriving on the Third Mutual Board.

The integrity of the board members who accept or have accepted goods and services from any vendor including the three who accepted the Clippers Tickets is also now proven to be inadequate for the job they have accepted, and in fact sought. They must resign from the board!

The cost involved and ultimately billed to Third Mutual should be repaid immediately from the board member's personal pockets.  Obviously these very board members and their personal attorney (Richardson does not represent the entire corporation... only select members) seem to have forgotten they represent the entire corporation and not their own personal interests. The business of taking gifts when they are supposed to be VOLUNTEERS is a definite conflict of interest and ethics violation. Attorney, Kelly Richardson is supposed to conduct himself with the utmost integrity and highest ethical standards and yet he is part and parcel of the problem!

This is an Egregious  breach of trust on the part of this attorney and the participating select board members. These people are supposed to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

Attorney Richardson is the person who previously defended some of the very same board members when they were asked about receiving gifts and special perks. This is the second time the integrity of the board members and this attorney has arisen! It is the responsibility of this board to clean out this den of secrecy, lies, and unethical behavior and I call on you to act swiftly and prudently!

Pamela Grundke,
Residents Voice Team Leader

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