EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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August 17, 2011

Agency head worked 15 hours per week, new documents show


In June, Dame asked federal, state and Essex County prosecutors to consider charging his predecessor with defrauding the agency out of his services while claiming to be working a full work week on a form he filed annually for the agency with the federal Internal Revenue Service. The so-called Form 990 requires non-profits to list their best-compensated employees and the hours they work.

A woman who picked up the phone at Laverriere's Ames Street house yesterday said he was not in.

The Form 990 Dame filed Monday for GLCAC's last fiscal year also documents the extent of the shakeup at the social serve agency over the last five months, prompted by the state and federal investigations that followed the newspaper story. The state Department of Housing and Community Development found widespread mismanagement and lax fiscal controls at GLCAC and demanded three dozen reforms. The federal investigation is continuing.

The federal tax form, called a Form 990, was signed by the new executive director and prepared by a new auditor, Raymond Anstiss Jr. of Lowell, who was hired after the state demanded GLCAC break its contract with its former auditors.

The form also lists the 21 people on GLCAC's board of directors during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2010. Resignations — including former board chairman Thomas Schiavone and treasurer Jerome Jozak — have since reduced the board to 13 members.

Also gone is Gayle Williams, who resigned as a $70,000-a-year consultant overseeing GLCAC's child care programs on May 19, after The Eagle-Tribune reported that she received the contract a few years after her husband joined the board and subsequently hired her brother and sister-in-law and provided $14,500 in tuition assistance to her daughter. Her husband, Evan Williams, resigned from the GLCAC board April 27.

The tax form also shows that revenue for the agency — including $29.2 million in state and federal grants — were largely unchanged during Laverriere's last full year as executive director, dropping just $2,313. Over the same period, fees for services dropped 34 percent, to $514,000, even as the payroll increased 8.1 percent, to $12.9 million, suggesting the agency may have paid more people to provide fewer services.

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