Orange County's Nonprofit Investigative News Agency "Voice of OC" has been served with a demand to produce all records it had submitted to the Internal Revenue Service within the past three years, The Leslie Brodie Report has learned.
The request followed shortly on the heels of a letter informing State Bar Executive Director Joe Dunn about the existence of convenient circumstances surrounding sham charity CaliforniaALL and his publication -- "Voice of OC."
More specifically, and according to a source, the fact that some individuals and entities involved in the creation of sham charity CaliforniaALL and the subsequent unlawful transfer of $780,000 from the Cal Bar Foundation to CaliforniaALL were also involved in assisting Mr. Dunn with the creation of "Voice of OC", has caused the source to entertain the thought that "Voice of OC" may have been a recipient, at least in part, of the $780,000 misappropriated from the State Bar of California.
CaliforniaALL, a 501(c)(3) charitable entity, was the brainchild of Ruthe Ashley (a Diversity Officer at CalPERS and Vice-President of the State Bar of California) and Peter Arth Jr., Chief of Staff to CPUC President Michael Peevey.
In its brief existence from 2008 to 2010, CaliforniaALL collected close to $2 million from utility companies (AT&T, PG&E, Verizon, Sempra), including a sub-rosa contribution of $769,247.00 from the State Bar of California Foundation (DBA California Bar Foundation.)
CaliforniaALL was abruptly dissolved in June of 2010.
Morrison & Foerster, specifically Susan Mac Cormac , assisted with the legal aspects of creating the entity. Later, Sarah Redfield assumed the position of CaliforniaALL's Interim CEO; after a simulated search for a CEO, Ruthe Ashley was hired as the entity's president and CEO.
Once Ashley assumed the position, the Foundation of the State Bar of California (which is under the complete control of the BOG) made a quiet and unlawful transfer of approximately $780,000 from Cal Bar Foundation to CaliforniaALL. At the time of the transfer, the individuals controlling the Foundation were Holly Fujie, Girardi & Keese's Howard Miller, Howard Rice's Douglas Winthrop, Geoffrey Brown, and a few others.
CaliforniaALL never acknowledged receipt of the approximate $780,000 from the Cal Bar Foundation in any of its publications, although it did acknowledge the transfer on its IRS tax returns. Likewise, California Bar Foundation never acknowledged the largest grant it ever bestowed in its newsroom, the California Bar Journal, or similar publications; it did, however, recognize the transfer on its IRS returns, and in a 2 by 2 inch blurb in its annual report.
As the purpose of CaliforniaALL was to transfer those funds forward, it did so by awarding approximately $300,000 in grants to the UCI Foundation, where Mr. Dunn serve as trustee and chair of the Audit Committee.
In September 2009, Ruthe Ashley abruptly exited CaliforniaALL. In the same month and year, Mr. Dunn publicly launched the online publication, "The Voice of OC." Public sources have stated that the Voice of OC was financed by various foundations, unions, and the like.
Additionally, and according to the source, the belief is heightened given various events' proximity in time -- as noted above, Ruthe Ashley left CaliforniaALL in the same month Mr. Dunn launched "Voice of OC" (as though her mission had been completed).
Moreover, the recent abrupt departure of Thomas Girardi and James Brosnahan from 'Voice of OC" ( as though they were fleeing the scene with guilty consciences), the refusal of SAL-UCI to disclose the amount it receive from CaliforniaALL, the simulated RFP, and CaliforniaALL's pre-selection of the UCI Foundation as a recipient of funds only reinforce the suspicion. This is heightened by Mr. Thomas Girardi's lack of credibility (pursuant to findings made by a panel of federal judges), and the friendship Mr. Dunn shares with Mr. Girardi.
The request was for all documents submitted to the IRS within the past three years, which generally means the three most recent returns, and include IRS Form 990, Form 990 Schedule A, as well Form 1023.