February 22, 2017
LAMA: WORKING TOGETHER- PUTTING ETHICS TO WORK
After LAMA acquired the community center, a group of LAMA members and former officials were up in arms with president Mulbah. They wrote consistently outlining some of their issues with the president, the acquisition of the community center and the role Miss Miatta Boima had come to play in the leadership of LAMA, vis-a-vis her love affair with the president.
Some members of the group making these charges are:
- Cassius Acolatse – former VP
- Emmanuel Solo – former VP
- Lois Harris – former Programs and planning chair
- Amos Smith – former community Center project mamager
- Imani Bendu Smith – former treasurer
- Kema Diggs – former vp candidate
- Aaron Von Williamson – former legal counsel to president Mulbah
- Yancy Sieh – former Parliamentarian
- James Tambah – former treasurer and financial Secretary
Note: Board Chairman Joseph R Reeves was sympathetic to the cause of the group
As members of the Liberian Association of Metropolitan Atlanta, LAMA, it is our responsibility to ensure that our leaders are held to the highest ethical standards, and said standards should guide all of our actions and decisions.
LAMA’s CONSTITUTION and CODE OF ETHICS have set out the purposes and principles by which this organization and its leaders MUST abide.
The code of ethics stipulates that leaders we will adhere to the highest standards of efficiency, competency and integrity. While we applaud and celebrate indisputable accomplishments of this administration, a litany of decisions and actions by the President indicate a paucity of efficiency, competence and integrity. For example, our community is more divided today than at any time in recent history. In addition, there continues to be purpose disregard for the constitution and bylaws that govern LAMA. The following are only a few concrete examples of how the President has repeatedly trampled the constitution:
President Mulbah has consistently violated our Constitutional and By-Laws
Accordingly, to Article XII section I of the constitution:
Section I Administrative Expectation: It is expected that all officers serve with the highest degree of efficiency, competence and integrity. As representatives of LAMA, officers should always behave in a professional manner, and refrain from any action(s) that might bring embarrassment and disgrace to the Association.
Section II General Comportment: Every member is expected to develop a high sense of duty, commitment and discipline regarding matters related to LAMA. Members should treat one another with respect at all times, and avoid making comments of a provocative nature. No member shall engage in any illegal or immoral act(s)
Punishable by law
* The appointment of President Mulbah’s significant other to serve as Community Center Manager is “conflict of interest” and a gross breach of ethical standards pursuant to LAMA’s Code of Ethics, compromising our 501 (c) (3) status with the IRS;
* Financial transactions without consultation or approval from the Board and General Assembly is a direct violation of our constitution. A recent audit conducted by indicated over spending of $7,668.20, exercised without approval from the Board of Dirctors. The total income received from the community center for the past four months of operation beginning (October 1 to December 2014 & January 2015) was $4,590.00. This amount was to be deposited into an escrow account for Phase II of our Community Center Project. However, this amount was spent by President Mulbah without the approval of the full Advisory Board as mandated by the Terms of Reference of the Advisory Board; such action violates the need for transparency and accountability.
The last three audits conducted under President Mulbah administration showed that effective internal financial control mechanism was never implemented. Examples of those findings were:
- Budget not followed
- No ticketing system to tract purchases of food and beverage sales
- No physical inventory of beginning and ending inventories
On November 6, 2014, the board requested that President Mulbah provide a comprehensive report of all spending and expenditures outside the approved budget of 2014; however, the board has yet to receive a comprehensive report. We are now approaching the end of the 1st quarter of 2015 and still no budget has been provided. We cannot sit supinely and allow the LAMA to return to the dark days of no progress. As leaders, we must take immediate action to ensure that accountability and transparency is enforced at all times. President Mulbah must be held accountable for his actions.
Per the code of ethics: Rule 4.4-Ethical relationship among officers and members
(a) A member or officer shall not engage in any writing, publishing, speaking or other actions intended to defame LAMA, as well as its officers or members.
* President Mulbah issued a statement on August 24, 2014 relative to the Ebola crisis in Liberia on behalf of LAMA. The president has th right to speak on any issue in his own name; however, issuing a statement in the name of LAMA requires consultation with the Board and General Assembly. It is important that we maintain a clear line of demarcation between our non-profit operations and our personal political enagagements. Given the political nature and sensitivity of his statement, we believe that he should have gotten an approval from the General Assembly or the Board of Directors prior to any publication. This is an underlying issue of President Mulbah as he had made other inferences of political comments on behalf of LAMA without the consultation of the Board
(b) A member or officer shall refrain from derogatory and inflammatory acts during meeting of the General Assembly and community event. Every step should be taken to preserve the dignity and respect of LAMA.
* President Mulbah has on many occasions grossly disrespected members of the LAMA leadership; which contravenes the Constitution. Several great leaders that have served LAMA for many years have resigned from President Mulbah administration due to his lack of respect and verbal abuses. This administration has the highest turnover rate in recent LAMA history.
Code of ethics Rule 4.5 Financial ethics
(b) No member or officer shall use his or her position to enhance their financial or business undertakings.
* President Mulbah has admitted to having a personal relationship with Ms. Boima, which is a clear violation and conflict of interest. However, he appointed her to represent our real estate interest in acquisition of a community center. His appointment was not objective and Ms. Boima commission was never disclose to the general assembly; a clear violation pursuant to the Code of Ethics.
Recent discoveries revealed that the original property listing of REMAX had different prices for each of the four units acquired by LAMA. During a Joint Leadership Team meeting addressing the property in 2014, the Team was misled by the President and Ms. Boima about the price of the units being rented at $1800 per month; and that they negotiated the price down to a $1,000 per unit, per month. This was not the case, instead of $1,800 across the board, we found out that each of Units was listed as follow, Unit 700 for $1,427.00; Unit 800 for $1,077.00; Unit 900 for $1,130.00 and Unit 1,000 for $1,000.00; giving a total of $4634.00 instead of $7200.00. The same price for all of these units was posted on both the FMLS and GAMLS sites from Feb. 2014 to August 2014. So $7,200.00 was the fabricated amount. The actual listing total price for all four units was $4,634. The president and Ms. Boima did not put the interest of the community first because the lease should have been less than $4,600 had the he and Miss Boima acted in good faith. Again, President Mulbah’s significant received a financial gain from this transaction.
There is a need for a comprehensive investigation and review of all documents associated with the Center to ensure that LAMA is in compliance with existing rules, regulations and laws. The lease agreement and all other documents associated with the Community Center need thorough scrutiny to avoid violations of existing state regulations and laws. Preliminary investigation reveals that some documents were procured under questionable circumstances.
Rule 3.6- Business ethics- The Executive Council shall not implement any contract without the approval of the Board; neither shall the Executive Council make prior commitments to vendors, contractors, suppliers and others without the knowledge and consent of the Board.
Code of ethics Rule 4.5 (c) – No member or officer or his/her agent, employee or family member shall enter into a personal service contract with LAMA without previous disclosure of such interest to the General Assembly
President Mulbah constantly disregards the authority of the Board; which clearly violates the Constitution and creates a discord within LAMA’s leadership. The following are only a few examples:
* On October 1, 2014, Mr. Leo Mulbah entered into a contractual agreement with Ms. Miatta Baima (as Agent of REMAX) without the knowledge and consent of the Board in violation of Rule 3.6 of LAMA Code of Ethics. It will interest you to note that they were the only two signatories to the said agreement.
* On October 12, 2014, Mr. Mulbah misled the General Assembly stating that he had not signed any contract with REMAX.
* On October 24, 2014, Mr. Mulbah misled the Board of Directors during a meeting, that he had not signed the contract with REMAX.
* On November 8, 2014, during a joint Board of Directors and Advisory Board meeting, he again misled the joint meeting stating that he had not signed the contract with REMAX. Relying upon his misleading statements, the Joint meeting offered some recommendations to be included in the contract.
* On November 14, 2014, the Board of Directors communicated with Mr. Mulbah expressing its displeasure with the fact that he had signed the contract on October 1, 2014; and misrepresented to the Board that he had not signed the contract.
* On December 18, 2014, Mr. Mulbah, in an email, informed the Chairman of the Advisory Board that he had instructed LAMA’s Treasurer to include the Agent of REMAX as signatory to the escrow account and to issue a debit card for the use of the said REMAX’s Agent. It is interesting to note that the REMAX agent is also the paramour of the President and the manager of the Community Center. This action which is contravention of Article 13, Section 2 of LAMA’s Constitution – “No new account and bank card should be allowed without the approval of the General Assembly.
The lack of transparency and sound business practices exhibited by the President will land LAMA in trouble with the State of Georgia if corrective measures aren’t taken immediately. Despite several meetings and assurances, President Mulbah continues to run the Association with no regards for constituted authorities.
The Issues; Violations of our Constitution-bylaw and Code of Ethics.
Page 1 of 2 – March 7, 2015
As members of the Liberian Association of Metropolitan Atlanta, LAMA, it is our responsibility to ensure that all leaders faithfully uphold and defend the Constitution of LAMA and be held to the highest ethical standards and professionalism. It is very important that said standards should guide all of our actions and decisions.
Our approved LAMA CONSTITUTION and CODE OF ETHICS have established guidelines, rules, and regulations that must be adhered to at all times. The principles narrated in our official documents compel every leader of LAMA to abide by them. The code of ethics specifically stipulates that as leaders we must adhere to the highest standards of efficiency, competency and integrity. Based on our observations and the actions of the President of LAMA, the Constitutions and Code of Ethics have been repeatedly violated. In light of the many violations, this president have not served this organization with the highest degree of efficiency, competence and integrity as expected. Additionally, his actions has brought about a vast division within the community and has purposely disregard the Constitution, Bylaws and Code of Ethics of LAMA.
Listed below are specific violations by the president with Constitutional and Ethical reference to support our allegations.
MANAGEMENT CONTRACT / LAMA’S ACCOUNTS
B CONFLICT OF INTEREST / 501 (c) (3) STATUS VIOLATIONS
- UNAPPROVED SPENDING VIOLATIONS
- VERBAL INSULTS VIOLATIONS
- MIS-LEADING VIOLATIONS
DETAILED CHARGES AGAINST THE PRESIDENT
LAMA’S CONSTITUTIONAL & CODE OF ETHICS VIOLATIONS & 501 (c) (3) STATUS
Note: LC – LAMA’ Constitution EC – Ethics Code
MANAGEMENT CONTRACT/LAMA’S ACCOUNTS
* Signing of LAMA Community Center Management Contract without the approval of the Board of Directors – CODE OF ETHICS Rule 3.6 (a)
* The use of LAMA’S Credit Card without the General Assembly Approval – LC ARTICLE XIII Section 2
* The opening of an Ebola Account without the General Assembly Approval – LC ARTICLE XIII Section 2
CONFLICT OF INTEREST / 501 (c) (3) STATUS VIOLATIONS
* The appointment of the Community Center Management is a conflict of interest. EC 3.6 (b) / EC- Rule 4.5 (c) / ARTICLE XIV
* The signing of LAMA Community Center Management Contract by only the President and the appointed Manager -EC Rule 4.5 (c) / EC Rule 3.6 (a) ARTICLE XIV
* The President Relationship with Ms. Boima is conflict of interest and a clear violation of Lama’s 501 (c) (3) Status-LC ARTICLE XIV of the Constitutions
* Writing Political letters on behalf of LAMA’S is a clear violation of Lama’s 501 (c) (3) Status-LC- ARTICLE XIV / EC- Rule 4.4 (A )
UNAPPROVED SPENDING VIOLATIONS – ARTICLE VIII Section 2 (c) ARTICLE XI: Section 1.1 (c) ARTICLE XIII Section 2
* The spending of ($1,500.00) for the construction of Unite 700/800
* The spending of ($4,890.00) Community center renter income for Center operation
* The spending of ($7,666.61) from mattress sale income for Center.
VERBAL INSULTS VIOLATIONS
* The verbal insults to Ministers/Pastors – EC Rule 4.4 (B )
* The verbal insults to the General Assembly –EC Rule 4.4 (B )
* The verbal insults to the LAMA Officers – EC Rule 3.4 (A ) (B)
* The verbal insults to the LAMA Members – EC Rule 4.4 (B )
E MIS-LEADING VIOLATIONS – ARTICLE XII: SECTION 1, 2 Rule 3.7 Disclosure Ethic
* Mis-leading the General Assembly on contract signing – October 12, 2014
* Mis-leading the Board on Management contract signing – October 24, 2014
* Mis-leading the Joint Committee on contract signing – Nov. 08, 2014
* Mis-leading the Joint Committee on the cost per unit at $1,800 each – May 2014 EC Rule 4.0 / 4.1(A) ” From all indication the best interest of Lama was not sought resulting into highest Monthly payment
* Mis-leading the joint Committee / Board on REMAX contract October 2014
* Wrong Agent’s number / No Broker’s number / No FMLS & MLS Listing as per contract
* No Marketing Plan as per contract
COMPORTMENT OF OFFICERS AND MEMBERS
Section 1. Administrative Expectation
It is expected that all officers serve with the highest degree of efficiency, competence
and integrity. As representatives of LAMA, officers should always behave in a
professional manner, and refrain from any action(s) that might bring embarrassment and disgrace to the Association.
Section 2 General Comportment
Every member is expected to develop a high sense of duty, commitment and discipline regarding matters related to LAMA. Members should treat one another with respect at all times, and avoid making comments of a provocative nature. No member shall engage in any illegal or immoral act(s) punishable by law.
LAMA – 2017