By Cheryl Sullenger
San Francisco, CA – Planned Parenthood Federation of America last week disenfranchised their Golden Gate affiliate in the midst of serious financial problems.
Apparently PPGG employees knew that there was financial funny business and sent a letter (mostly ignored) signed by 30 of them to the PPGG Board and parent organization in 2008 complaining about financial improprieties by former head Dian Harrison. In fact, the employees, past and present, still have a lot to say. The following is a small example taken from the San Francisco Bay Guardian blog site:
It was well known within the agency that the former CEO, Dian Harrison, didn’t care about the mission or the patients and was only enriching herself and living large off of PPGG’s budget. She was so corrupt she even took to hiding her salary on the agency’s 990 tax forms for several years until the IRS started looking into her business. If the government ever looks at PPGG’s books, both Dian and the current CEO, Therese Wilson, will be sharing a jail cell next to Bernie Madoff. Signed: “Laura, former staff”
Nevermind if the government ever audits them, if the government just interviews former staff they’ll learn amazing things. Like how Dian had a hidden expense account for personal use and paid an “executive coach” over $100,000 a year to tell her how to be a CEO. Not just for one year, but for her entire tenure. I’m sure major foundations would like to have known they were paying this guy, Mike Takagawa, to hold Dian’s hand in perpetuity. Signed: “A.B., former fundraiser for PPGG”
After digesting what’s going on and what was in the Bay Citizen article, and reliving my own experiences working for PPGG, I would suggest to PPFA, and I’m talking to you, Ms. McHugh, that you add a section to your re-accreditation process and affiliation requirements that includes in-depth interviews with staff. If staff send you letters of concern and the occasional invoice for a luxury item purchased on the agency credit card that is probably sitting in Dian’s living room right now, maybe you shouldn’t ignore it and instead investigate. We came to work for PPGG for the mission, so we’re not sending you concerned letters and copies of bills for thousands of dollars of personal items for fun. You knew Dian was running this affiliate into the ground and you let her continue to do it year after year. Signed: “Another former staff member, sigh”
While employees complain Harrison and others spent PPGG’s money lavishly on personal luxury items, the organization posted an $181,000 deficit in 2006-07, a $1.8 million deficit in 2007-08, and a $2.8 million deficit in 2008-09.
Now we learn that the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service is conducting an audit, as well it should.
It is obvious that PPFA cut ties with the Golden Gate operation in order to keep the financial scandal from creeping up the food chain.
But we think it was more than that.
On August 12, 2010, a Federal Appeals Court quietly reinstated a lawsuit filed secretly in 2005 by Victor Gonzalez, former Chief Financial officer for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. That lawsuit alleges that various Planned Parenthood affiliates, including the Golden Gate organization, “knowingly engaged in a criminal plot to fleece state and federal taxpayers out of more than $180 million over the course of at least six years.”
Planned Parenthood immediately filed a motion to dismiss the case, which was rejected on August 24.
Gonzalez is represented by Walter Weber, senior litigation counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice. Weber recently told WND.com that he believes that the disclosures of financial fraud could ultimately lead to the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
“The precedent is ACORN. When the level of scandal around a certain organization reaches a boiling point, Congress might say no more money,” said Weber. “This case isn’t going to shut down a billion dollar operation in California. But it could induce other states to look at Planned Parenthood billing practices in their own jurisdictions. If enough lawsuits get filed and enough illegal billing is brought to light, Planned Parenthood might become toxic, like ACORN, and political pressure could force Congress to withdraw support.”
With the Gonzalez suit now on the front burner, Planned Parenthood could not run the risk embroilment in Golden Gate’s criminal financial scandal that could disqualify it from receiving tax dollars, of which Planned Parenthood has been the recipient of billions over the decades. To so qualify, an organization must comply with all state and local laws. If Planned Parenthood is proven to engage in billing fraud, its tax funding could and should be cut off.
So like a coyote that has a leg caught in a jaw trap, PPFA gnawed off their Golden Gate appendage in order to save the rest of the organization.
Without tax funding, Planned Parenthood organizations across the country would not be able to continue operations at their current level. Their abortion/birth control pill clinics would be forced to close like a row of collapsing dominoes.
But before that happens, Planned Parenthood is all about launching a turf war to replace the lost Golden Gate clinics, which are now rivals of the abortion giant. Just last week Planned Parenthood of Shasta-Diablo announced that it would be opening a clinic in Santa Rosa in about two months. It will be in direct competition to the former PPGG Rhonert Park clinic, which plans to stay open under the moniker of Golden Gate Community Health.
Planned Parenthood is in a precarious place. With demand for abortion dropping, they have embarked on a risky and vast expansion campaign – mostly on our tax dollars — opening mega-centers all over the U.S. They cannot afford a criminal scandal that would endanger the cash flow from Uncle Sam. That’s why they cut off the Golden Gate organization. It’s why they attempted to destroy the political careers of Kansas prosecutors who tried to hold them accountable to the law, and it’s why they wine and dine politicians and newspaper editors, especially in Iowa where they need political cover for their illegal push-button abortion pill distribution scheme.
It’s hard to know if the gnawing of appendages will stop at Golden Gate, or soon include these other besieged organizations. In any case, the red flags are up. Planned Parenthood is being exposed for the corrupt and greedy abortion pushers that they are. Now more than ever is the time to push for the defunding of abortion in America, then stand back and watch the dominoes fall.