PASADENA, Calif.—The Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee has issued a statement on the inner workings of the board. Below is the full statement.
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Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Review
The PAGMC is pleased to announce that the law firm of Geragos and Geragos has agreed to serve as legal counsel to the committee as we navigate our way to the construction and completion phase of the Memorial Project. Within the weeks ahead, we will be making some exciting announcements concerning the addition of board members to be even more inclusive of the broader community.
On September 29th of this year, Mr. William Paparian publicly resigned from the Board of Directors of the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee. The Board immediately and unanimously accepted his resignation. In his public announcement of resignation, he made a number of allegations that attempted to call into question both the judgment and fiduciary responsibility of other board members.
He made these allegations through a series of public statements without bringing these matters to the attention of the board. Indeed, the board had expressed concerns about certain actions he had undertaken, without board authorization, in the recent past.
Given the nature of this board and its purpose, the maintenance of our integrity is of the utmost importance. To that end, a group of board members were preparing to discuss a significant change with respect to the chairmanship of the board when Mr. Paparian abruptly resigned. The manner of his resignation was a shock to the other board members and to some supporters of the memorial who have asked for an explanation of his charges.
After a thorough review by the board, it is clear that the allegations made by Mr. Paparian represent, at best, a gross distortion of the facts and, at worst, a concerted campaign to mislead the community. While the Board cannot control what the prior chairman says, his saying them does not make them true. His actions both prior to and since his resignation were hurtful to the project and not in keeping with legal ethics.
The board has reviewed the allegations made by the prior chair in detail and consulted with both our CPA and the Community Foundation. We have been assured by both entities that our IRS non-profit status is current and secure and that there are no financial irregularities with respect to funds that have been collected.
As is prudent under new leadership, a careful and thorough review of the finances and practices of the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial was conducted. Upon completion of the review, there were no discrepancies with respect to any funds that have been collected, either in terms of the manner or the amount. All monies collected have been either properly deposited with the Community Foundation of the Verdugos or properly expended to move us toward a successful outcome. Our IRS and state reporting requirements are handled by our CPA and are current.
Our board is also developing a new set of processes that depart from the practices under our prior chair to maximize accountability for our supporters and donors. Although not legally required, the recent unfortunate developments are moving us to take steps to ensure that there can be no question that this board takes its fiduciary responsibilities very seriously.
We are currently approaching 50% of our target goal of $400,000 to pay for the construction of the memorial and the funding of an endowment to secure funds for the maintenance of the memorial in the years ahead. We are on track to be fully funded within the next six months.
The outpouring of support from the community for this project, especially in the aftermath of the inexplicable and unsettling events of the past few weeks has been heartwarming. This board is determined to never forget that the purpose of this memorial to honor our ancestors who perished as well as our ancestors who survived, rebuilt their lives and their families, and contributed greatly to the success of this nation and this community.
We welcome the Law Offices of Geragos of Geragos & Geragos with open arms to the committee and are confident with the assistance of this nationally renowned law firm we can continue to promote issues near and dear to the Armenian community.