96°F
weather icon Clear

Turmoil rocks St. Jude’s

A base salary of $300,000.

A $100,000 bonus.

And nearly $35,000 in reimbursable expenses for regular commutes between Boston and cities in Nevada and Texas.

Those payouts to the longtime CEO of St. Jude’s Ranch for Children have been questioned by former employees of the organization that serves abused, neglected and homeless children, according to documents obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Those questions and other complaints have sparked months of turmoil, resignations by trustees and employees and implementation of more stringent fiscal controls, the Review-Journal has learned.

And perhaps most importantly, that well-paid CEO has a new job.

Kate Crosby of Texas, chair of St. Jude’s national oversight board, would say little about the changes. But last month she announced organizational changes that she said would better position St. Jude’s Ranch for the future. In an email to staff, she said a global management firm has donated $1.5 million in in-kind services to help develop St. Jude’s strategic plan for the next three years.

On Feb. 1 CEO Christine Spadafor, 59, took on a new title as national senior strategist and will lead the planning and implementation of St. Jude’s strategic growth. Although she works an average of 50 to 60 hours per week for the nonprofit and related organizations, Spadafor is actually an independent consultant, according to St. Jude’s 2013 tax forms.

When asked about the change in jobs, Crosby was unable to give specific examples of Spadafor’s new duties. She said they were “still putting together a consulting description that matches that.”

She referred most questions to others such as Ralph Manning, another Texan and longtime board member.

The organization took the employee complaints seriously and hired investigators to look into the allegations, Manning said.

“If the reputation of the ranch becomes damaged by that, it’s the kids who will ultimately suffer,” Manning said in a phone interview.

The nonprofit wouldn’t release details of the findings to the Review-Journal, though Manning said no wrongdoing was found, though he did speak at length about the turmoil St. Jude’s has suffered.

Manning discussed the board members’ resignations and how Spadafor began consulting for the nonprofit and became its CEO, as well as allegations of mismanagement and former employees’ concerns about improper use of restricted funds.

“This was very disruptive to our board. This whole process was terribly, terribly damaging,” Manning said. “To answer your question, there were some board members that … disagreed with the strategy and path, and really everything that we are doing.”

Contact Yesenia Amaro at yamaro@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0440. Find her on Twitter: @YeseniaAmaro.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Parade highlights Damboree celebration

The 74th annual Damboree Parade which runs right through the heart of Boulder City will, as always, be on Independence Day, July 4th. The parade starts at 9 a.m. with other activities such as a pancake breakfast and coin toss sprinkled in throughout the day. Fireworks will start at 9 p.m. over Veterans’ Memorial Park. Full Blown Fourth is theme of this year’s celebration.

Results official: Hardy, Walton elected

Dr. Joe Hardy and Steve Walton expressed their gratitude and thanked the community for their support after primary election results were canvassed Friday and they were officially declared elected as mayor and councilman, respectively.

Council advances plans for RV park, grocery store

The City Council met Tuesday, June 27, with water levels, city signage and the proposal of a new grocery store and recreational vehicle complex on the agenda.

Woman who went missing arrested for theft

Kathryn Mari Trygstad, 55, a Boulder City woman who went missing for several days in April 2021, was arrested Tuesday morning on five charges, including grand theft and embezzlement of more than $100,000.

Krepps joins BCR staff

Owen Krepps has joined the Boulder City Review as a reporter.

City’s first ‘first lady’ dies

Boulder City’s first first lady, Marjie “Sue” Broadbent, died Sunday, June 26. She was 87.

Summer sunshine, heat pose health risks

It’s a safe bet that the one thing we all have in common every summer is managing the extreme heat and our body’s reaction to the excessive temperature prevalent in our geographic location.

Plans for RV resort, shopping center move forward

Boulder City’s Planning Commission has recommended that plans for two city-owned parcels, one of which will be leased for an upscale recreational vehicle resort and the other, which could be sold to build a grocery store, move forward to City Council as part of the land management process.

Primary results same as additional ballots counted

With additional mail-in ballots from the June 14 primary election counted, Boulder City residents have unofficially selected a new mayor and filled one of the two open seats on City Council.