* The Leslie Brodie Report urges the readers to exercise caution and not
jump to conclusions regarding misconduct by anyone.
According to confidential sources, the Board of Governors of the State
Bar of California has been asked to formally investigate improprieties
The letter is dated February 28, 2011. As a service to the public, it
is published in its entirety below:
Dear President Hebert, Senator Dunn, Members BOG, Foundation BOD, and
to whom it may concern :
This will serve to inform the Board of Governors ("BOG") and to
officially request an investigation into alleged fraudulent
transactions, financial irregularities, and unlawful conduct by
staff, executives and officers of both the State Bar of California and
California Bar Foundation (past and present) in connection with
circumstances surrounding CaliforniaALL.
CaliforniaALL was a charitable entity established in 2008 for the
purpose of raising funds to be used to support reductions in the
achievement gap in California. It represented to the public that it
is a "partner" of the State Bar of California.
Ruthe Catolico Ashley , a Diversity Officer at CalPERS who also served
as the Vice-President of the State Bar of California was the driving
force behind the creation of "CaAAL" , a name later changed to
Donations to CaliforniaALL came primarily from utility companies
(including AT&T, Sempra Energy, and PG&E). In its brief existence
from 2008 to 2010, CaliforniaALL collected close to $2 million,
including an unusually large sub-rosa contribution of $780,000 from
the State Bar of California Foundation in 2008.
Other than in Foundation tax records and a 2 by 2 inch blurb in its
2008 annual report, the sub-rosa contribution was never mentioned
again -- not by the State Bar of California, not in the Cal Bar
Journal, not in theFoundation's "newsroom," and not by anyone or any
publication of CaliforniaALL.
CaliforniaALL awarded only one grant in the amount of $100,000 to UCI
Foundation, where Senator Dunn served as trustee. CaliforniaALL was
abruptly dissolved in July 2010.
I am absolutely convinced that unlawful transactions and ethical
breaches, which are too numerous to describe, were at play in this
situation. An objective outsider could reasonably believe that
CaliforniaALL was created for the sole purpose of allowing utility
companies and the State Bar Foundation to pour money into it, which
would later be improperly utilized.
Over the past few weeks, my inquiries have led me to notify the
appropriate entities of my suspicions. In that I believe that, to a
certain extent, the BOG itself was misled and or was not given
complete information, I am setting out a brief summary of the facts
Geoffrey F. Brown was appointed Commissioner of the California CPUC in
2001. He served in the position until January 2007.
In 2006, Mr. Brown assumed a director position with the State Bar of
California Foundation, which he relinquished in 2009.
Starting in 2004, and probably prior, the honorable BOG member Gwen
Moore appeared before and otherwise communicated to the CPUC her
desire that the CPUC pressure utility companies to show improvement in
achieving diversity, such as in hiring, contracting, procurement
opportunities and the like consistent with CPUC General Order 156 (GO
156) whom Ms. Moore had authored.
At times, Senator Martha Escutia, Chair of the Senate Committee on
Energy, Utilities and Communications (EU&C) also participated in
meetings with the CPUC concerning diversity. She is a founding member
of The Senators (Ret.) firm, LLP, as is Senator Dunn.
In mid-2007, Peter Arth Jr., Chief of Staff to CPUC's President
Peevey, invited Ruthe Ashley, Vice-President of the State Bar, to meet
him for dinner. A plan was executed on a paper napkin. Within weeks of
this dinner meeting, the BOG and CalPERS were presented with the
request to enter into a partnership with what was than known as CaAAL
which was later changed to CaliforniaALL.
Ruthe Ashley and Patricia Lee represented to the BOG that there would
be no impact on the State Bar Budget as a result of the partnership
In November 2007, CaliforniaALL's Board of Directors held its first
meeting. Ashley was later hired as the founding president and CEO of
CaliforniaALL. Subsequently, CaliforniaALL's grant of $100,000 to UCI
Foundation was accompanied by many press releases and media events.
In September of 2009, Ashley abruptly quit her CEO position. The
entity was dissolved in June of 2010.
Based on my calculations, a sum estimated to be between $700,000 to
$900,000 is still unaccounted for. Hence, my request for an
Thank you for your assistance with this matter. Please contact me if
you have any questions or require further information.