Mysterious Closing of Md. Nonprofit Leads to State Takeover

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August 13, 2012; Source: Frederick News-Post

The State of Maryland has been granted their request to have the 47-year-old Jeanne Bussard Center put into receivership by Frederick County Circuit Court Judge G. Edward Dwyer. The decision on Monday potentially paves the way for the organization providing jobs and training for developmentally disabled people to be turned around. The center, which reportedly had revenues of approximately $2.3 million in 2010, has been put into the hands of Invotex Group. Raymond Peroutka, Jr., managing director and CEO of that group, is quoted here, saying, “We’re going to go over to the center and look inside and have the locks changed.”

The center was reportedly informed by the IRS early this summer that liens were to be placed against it totaling $466,366. On July 5, the Bussard Center was locked down to employees and clients without notice. The reason for the closing is still a mystery. Center management has, at different times, attributed the closing to low donations and to electrical problems related to storm damage. The manager of external affairs at the local electric company said they had not received any reports of problems. Jeanne Dalaba, the Center’s former executive director, says the Center’s board of directors fired her on July 5, and that the board itself resigned immediately after her termination. Invotex has to file a report to the court by next month detailing the extent of the problems at the Center. –Ruth McCambridge