October 21, 2014; VT Digger

Last week, NPQ wrote a story about a Vermont organization that had gotten in enough trouble internally to cause the attorney general to demand the board’s resignation. That board, belonging to Emerge Family Advocates, has now agreed to resign as part of a settlement with the office of the AG. Other requirements of that settlement are that a new board be appointed quickly and that an independent review of Emerge’s finances be done.

NPQ wrote before about the fact that by the executive director’s own account, this organization functioned far too informally relative to the resources at its disposal. This is always a very dangerous course, because when the facts surface, they threaten to embarrass funder as well as grantee—and when the funder is the state, the state will often protect itself.

The board did not desert the ship, leaving only after it had handed over the organization’s services, at least temporarily, to other nonprofits. Another local executive director will oversee the work until Emerge can resume operations.

“We were able to reach this agreement in part because of the strength and commitment of the Upper Valley nonprofit community and its dedication to the services Emerge provides,” said Attorney General Sorrell who will, himself, appoint a board from a list of candidates generated by other local nonprofits.—Ruth McCambridge