North Mpls Loses Again – Jerry Moore Now at UROC

By now, you have heard about this.  It’s well documented at the Johnny Northside blog (see http://adventuresofjohnnynorthside.blogspot.com/2009/06/former-jacc-executive-director-jerry.html for more details), along with lots of comments.  Jerry Moore has landed on his feet–landing a job at the U of M’s Urban Research and Outreach Engagement Center (UROC) to “research foreclosures.”  I am still in a state of shock that this could happen, and yet it is no surprise in North Minneapolis.  It is what happens here all too frequently.  Those who line their own pockets with money meant to help North Minneapolis seem to have no trouble finding their next job despite their lack of accomplishment or their outrageous behavior.  I believe that this is probably the single largest factor in the failure of North Minneapolis to thrive and improve.  There has been no shortage of money coming into North Minneapolis over the last 20-30 years, but it keeps ending up in the pockets of a few select people rather than doing the good it was meant to do.

I talked recently to a new friend who is trying to hang on to her house, who recently lost her job and who has worked in the foreclosure area for some time, often volunteering her time to help those in need.  A single mother, she is one of the most deserving that I know.  Yet she remains unemployed while Mr. Moore gets a job with the prestigious U of MN.

Let’s review Mr. Moore’s resume as we know it:

  • Joined the JACC board of directors with dubious eligibility.
  • Hired as interim JACC executive director at a salary higher than any other ED in the city despite lacking the basic qualification of a college degree or related experience.  His agreement to work as an independent contractor violates IRS guidelines for independent contractors since it gave him responsibility for managing the organization’s finances as well as hiring and managing staff employees.
  • Paid himself excessive cell phone reimbursements against JACC policy (now totaling over $7,000 instead of the $1,100 policy allowed).
  • Hired a friend despite warnings from city officials about past mis-dealings of that friend–which resulted in JACC paying out $13,500 for a product that was completely inadequate and had to be re-done by JACC.
  • Hired a web site designer for $1,900 despite a bid of $500 from a well-known Northsider.
  • Mis-spent grant funds and was not truthful in reports to funders…when he bothered to report to them.
  • Traveled to New Orleans and Chicago on JACC money despite JACC’s dwindling bank account.
  • Refused to provide JACC financial details to board directors and community members.
  • Attempted to obtain a restraining order against a board member who demanded access to the financial records (I personally witnessed the alleged incident cited–there was no threat to Mr. Moore).
  • Violated JACC bylaws concerning nominations for the annual election of board members by disseminating his own slate of candidates rather than allowing the Nominating Committee to do its job.
  • Spent nearly $1,000 on restaurant meals in his last seven months in the job.
  • Struck or shoved three community members, including a woman and a board member after the latest elections.
  • Removed (according to a witness) thousands of dollars in JACC equipment (computers, Blackberry phones and accessories) as well as the checkbook and records from JACC offices after the board voted to fire him.  These have never been returned.
  • Was named (although not charged yet) in the criminal prosecution of Larry Maxwell for mortgage fraud in the sale of 1564 Hillside Avenue via identity theft.  Mr. Moore received $5,000 in “consultant” fees for that sale.

This is the man that the University has hired to work on the Northside Partnership.

I think what I feel most keenly is disappointment.  There was a great deal of mistrust of the University when the partnership was first proposed, but I saw an incredible potential if the University was going to bring some of its best minds to help solve the problems North Minneapolis has faced over the past two or three decades.   Students need to do practicums and internships, and it is often amazing how much good they can do with their eager minds and creative abilities.  Add to that some of the best minds in education, and magical things can happen.  I’ve witnessed it in the graduate programs I was involved in on the East Coast.  And I’ve met several U of MN students who have done projects in Jordan and North Minneapolis–they were great!

In view of the damage that Mr. Moore has already done here, hiring him to work at UROC is a huge betrayal of trust by the University.  There are tens of thousands of good people in North Minneapolis.  There are many who face significant challenges, often not of their making.  To hire someone who has shown an uncanny ability to divert public funds into his own pocket and into the pockets of his friends is a disservice to all of North Minneapolis.  In my mind, it speaks volumes about the University’s real interest (or lack thereof) in the Northside Partnership.  We simply cannot depend on that bright vision once held out to us.  It isn’t real.  I wonder if it ever was.

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4 Responses

  1. And now all we need to know is “Who hired” Mr. Moore and who else was interviewed, i.e. was this another “inside job?” and if so the “U” has some “HUMONGOUS CREDIBILITY PROBLEMS” Pawlenty can cut them another couple $Bil from the budget , they are just paying it out to do nothing cronies or political operatives anyway! It definitely isn’t to get something actually done!

  2. Johnny northside blog is reporting JMoore has been ‘let go’ – way to go blog power!

    Takin’ back the Northside one PEACE at a time!

  3. The situation has taken another turn. Word is Jerry was “let go.”

    For more details, check out this blog post:

    http://adventuresofjohnnynorthside.blogspot.com/2009/06/jns-blog-exclusive-former-jacc.html

  4. BRAVO to you editor….THAT is what I have been waiting to read, all in one neat and tidy page…get a clue UM Powers That Be!

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