Financial Analysis – Sprint Bills Galore!

One of the more egregious financial issues is the now infamous Sprint bills.  This has been a source of anger among residents for some time.  Since 2003, JACC has had a policy of reimbursing full-time employees $50 per month toward their cell phones.  Because staff were out in the neighborhood so much, cell phones helped them keep in touch.  When the Jordan Patrol was operating in 2003 and 2004, cell phones were frequently used to contact the Minneapolis Police Department when the patrol discovered boarded buildings that were open to trespass or when they came upon crimes being committed (and this happened quite regularly).  So the organization created a policy to pay $50 per month so that full-time employees could afford plans with more minutes to account for the minutes they used for JACC business.  Employees purchased their own cell phones but JACC helped pay for extra minutes for JACC business.

That policy was in effect when executive director Jerry Moore was hired.  In fact, it remained in effect for Ken Wilson, who was hired as JACC’s Safety Outreach Coordinator in January 2007 and was paid full-time through about July of 2008.

Mr. Moore was hired in September, 2006, as an independent contractor, and his contract did not include reimbursement of expenses nor payment of any kind of “benefits”.  During this time, JACC offices were located in offices that included phone service in the rent, so any phone bills were not for office phones.

The first Sprint bill showed up in the financial records on 10/27/06, and thus began a wild ride through the JACC checkbook.  Keep in mind that the policy of providing $50 toward a cell phone would not have begun until Mr. Moore transitioned from an independent contractor to a full-time employee, which occurred on April 1, 2007, according to the contract.  Therefore, the maximum that should have been paid for Mr. Moore’s cell phone for the period of April 2007 through January 2009 would have been 22 months x $50, or $1,100.  In addition, keep in mind that for the past six months or more, the former JACC treasurer, Mr. Robert Scott, had been warning the board that JACC was running out of money and that steps needed to be taken to cut expenses.

Here are the charges from Sprint.  Nearly all appear to have been paid with the JACC debit card.

10/27/06   $  53.48
11/06/06   $ 163.97
12/04/06   $ 180.61
01/04/07   $ 152.88
01/27/07   $  95.96 (for accessories)
02/13/07   $ 190.51
05/01/07   $ 308.66
05/01/07   $ 500.00
06/15/07   $ 347.70
07/19/07   $ 241.22
09/07/07   $ 500.00
09/17/07   $ 430.77
11/05/07   $ 274.99
12/18/07   $ 375.77
02/18/08   $ 598.16
04/17/08   $ 500.00
05/20/08   $ 388.60
06/03/08   $ 416.24 Sprint Nextel
07/08/08   $ 100.46 Verizon Wireless
08/06/08   $ 252.78
09/15/08   $ 258.96 Sprint Nextel
09/23/08   $ 258.73 Sprint Nextel
01/05/09   $ 335.79 (purchase of 2 new Blackberry phones)

The total damage? $6,926.24 spent — $5,826.24 more than the policy allowed.  When Mr. Moore was questioned during a recent interview about the phone bill allegations, he responded that he had changed to a new plan.  Yes, he did–after two years of authorizing JACC payment of outrageous phone bills.

In January of 2009, Mr. Moore used JACC funds to purchased two new Blackberry phones.  Why was JACC purchasing cell phones? Why two?  Mr. Moore was the only full-time employee.  Well, it turns out that the damage is worse than the purchase price of $335.79.  When he purchased the phones, Mr. Moore also signed JACC up for two 2-year contracts for service.  Sprint will not cancel the contract  unless JACC pays an additional $400, $200 per phone contract.  JACC officials attempted to cut off the phone service for the new phones.  Sprint initially cut the service, but Mr. Moore had them re-instate the service, billing it, of course, to the  JACC offices at 2009 James Ave N–an interesting move by a man who represents the “old majority” and claims that the JACC offices are located at 1922 25th Avenue N.

One more note:  the new phones disappeared from the office along with the computers, checkbook and other records.

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One Response

  1. I am so furious reading this right now! I am so glad that the community members have wisened up enough to elect some honest, true-blood leaders who will make wise decisions and will fight corruption and abuse of our neighborhood organization. Jerry may have gotten a $5826 ‘bonus’ off the backs of Jordan neighbors but it will come back to bite him where it counts! That is for sure!

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