Billings: Phil Roy Must Go

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Stephen Carmichael
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Joined: 06/19/2008 - 8:05pm
For those who are concerned

For those who are concerned about looking like idiots: It’s too late to worry about that.

Shooting the messenger is not going to solve the issues at hand. Save face and take the appropriate action and publicly respond to the delay in doing so. Maine people respect honesty. Do I need to move to Japan to find honor among men?

rklindell
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Joined: 08/05/2003 - 12:01am
I don't think anyone is

I don't think anyone is seeking a "Japanese" solution to the problem.

Naran
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Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
Dan - you're saying that Roy

Dan - you're saying that Roy never read the Maine GOP bank statements for over three years? How can someone be treasurer of any organization, and never make it their business to look at the most [u]basic[/u] financial accounting instrument that exists?

Even Auntie Mabel makes sure that the weekly quarters from the "Heedful Helpmates Society" members are properly accounted for, once they're placed into the fetchingly lace-lined collection basket. During the first meeting of every month, she and Betsy make that the first item on the agenda.*

*(it's right after the Pledge of Allegiance, and right before the weekly installment of 'New Frugal Things YOU Can Do With Dryer Lint!').

Corvus
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Joined: 03/10/2005 - 1:01am
Roy's virtual fumfers on AMG

Roy's virtual fumfers on AMG are grounds enough for dismissal. This debacle erases any doubt that he should resign.On the bright side... he seems to have gone underground, which alleviates the former complaint.

Robert Reed
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Joined: 11/08/2007 - 1:53pm
Why we air our own dirty

Why we air our own dirty laundry is beyond me! This should be handled privately and confidentially. Philip Roy did not embezzle, nor did he gain anything by what occurred. He simply may have been asleep at the wheel when it occurred bu so were other members of the parties leadership. Perhaps we should ask for the entire party leadership to resign? And how about listening next time someone tells you you need good internal controls. Every time there is an embezzlement case in Maine some one makes a cry for better controls, and Dan as an attorney even you should have made that request. This appears to me to be a case of tar and feathering without cause simply ecause yo do not personally like the man. This needs to stop or it will destroy what is left of the party.

LarryinAugusta
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Joined: 05/25/2007 - 6:53pm
Robert is 100% right here,

Robert is 100% right here, this should have happen behind closed doors. Below is a time line of events leading up to Saturdays meeting. There are some gaps because no one knows, nor should they know what conversations happened between Roy and Chairman Webster.

February 12 – A confidential notice was sent from a group of State Committee Members to the Chairman requesting Roy’s resignation. (This notice as far as I know was not sent to anyone other than State Committee Members who were part of the process. If I was not clear on this in my earlier post I apologize)
February 15 – Notice was sent out to petitioners that Roy might resign.
Late March – Notice was given for a special meeting April 25th. Chairmen Webster noted that 30 days notice must be give prior to scheduling a meeting. The meeting was scheduled for April 25.

Side note – The meeting was scheduled for the same day as the Republican Liberty Caucus Leadership Meeting. This is unfortunate as both events are important and now State Committee Members must choose between the two.

Peter
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Joined: 03/13/2005 - 1:01am
larry It should of been, but

larry
It should of been, but it wasnt.

Mark Hamper
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Joined: 07/31/2008 - 10:04am
At first glance, Billings'

At first glance, Billings' column seems to be an incredibly bone-headed maneuver.
As a lawyer I would think he would understand how damaging this will be to the prosecution of the accountant. I would bet $1000 this column will be used as part of the defense.
Why not deal with this on the DL until the real thief gets thrown in the clink?

Solitary Path
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Joined: 04/08/2009 - 9:35pm
Lookin at the crooks in Maine

Lookin at the crooks in Maine government. when they get arrested for stealing, do the selectmen also go.

Steven Scharf
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Joined: 01/28/2002 - 1:01am
She has already plead

She has already plead guilty.

Steven Scharf
SCSMedia@aol.com

Naran
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Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
Correct, Steven. Dan is an

Correct, Steven. Dan is an attorney, and I think he knew that trial issues wouldn't be a concern when he published the column.

To me, it sounds as if he tried every option he felt would be effective to resolve the situation privately. However, when none of those efforts brought the needed result, he took what is by any estimation a stern measure.

I trust his judgement. Others may not agree, but I don't think he would have done this, had he not seen it as absolutely necessary.

Yes - the short-term result is embarrassment and airing of dirty laundry. The long-term result, however? That the Maine GOP wasn't afraid to tackle the hard stuff, clean house, and get on with the business of the party.

Quite frankly, I'm more concerned with the long-term than the short-term.

rklindell
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Joined: 08/05/2003 - 12:01am
One reason that Dan might be

One reason that Dan might be so vehement about this issue is that as a lawyer he understands the duties and responsibilities of a fiduciary. A fiduciary does not have the option of being "asleep at the wheel" in fact a fiduciary does not have to be dishonest nor willfully negligent to breach his/her duties as a fiduciary. Merely slight negligence can be deemed a breach of fiduciary duty. Slight Negligence requires a person or entity to exercise a high degree of care to avoid injuring others. This means that a small degree of negligence is sufficient to breach a fiduciary duty.

As an individual who works with other people's money, I also understand these distinctions. So here is how I see it:

1) As Treasurer Phil Roy is a fiduciary
2) For three years the funds over which he was assigned fiduciary responsibility were embezzled
3) During those three years he did not regularly look at nor review bank statements.
4) During that same time he did not conduct an audit (formal or informal)
5) If the two prior statements are true he was at least slightly negligent
6) By being slightly negligent he has breached his fiduciary duty.
7) Any fiduciary who is found to have breached his/her duty must resign or be removed

There it is. Nothing personal against Phil. He has to go. It is sad that nobody has sat him down and explained it to him in these simple terms.

As to the Maine RLC leadership conference:

The scheduling conflict is unfortunate. I had set the date back in February - well before the State Committee Meeting was scheduled. I have made arrangements to make sure the show goes on without my presence in the morning. I am also extending an invitation to all State Committee Members to Join us at the conference for lunch and even to stick around for the afternoon session.

You can check out the schedule here:

LarryinAugusta
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Joined: 05/25/2007 - 6:53pm
Hi Ken, Just to be clear I

Hi Ken,

Just to be clear I was not placing any blame on the scheduling conflict. I was also aware of the RLC Leadership Conference prior to the State Committee Meeting. Also, I'm being prompted for a facebook username and password to see the schedule.

MMan
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Joined: 04/26/2001 - 12:01am
"...in Maine the Party only

"...in Maine the Party only stands for anti abortion an anti gay - the litmus test by which all candidates are judged."

As shown by these major office nominees?....

Susan Collins
Olympia Snowe
Charlie Summers
Darlene Curley
Kevin Raye
Jane Amero
Peter Cianchette

LarryinAugusta
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Joined: 05/25/2007 - 6:53pm
"She has already plead

"She has already plead guilty."

When did this happen? My understanding is that she had not and that is why we have not received the full amount of restitution yet? Do you have any additional information on this?

rklindell
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Joined: 08/05/2003 - 12:01am
Sorry - here is the correct
Dan Billings
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Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
She has not pled guilty. But

She has not pled guilty. But she has already paid back nearly $40K. The matter will never go to trial and there is no basis for the argument that the party can't take action because of the criminal case. If my column would have any impact on the case, the prosecution must have a very weak case.

Robert: If you read my column, you would see that I placed blame on the two people who had responsibility for the party's finances -- the Chairman and the Treasurer. If the person who was Chair when this happened was still in office, I would be calling for that person to resign as well. And I have told the former Chair that personally and he understood my point of view.

Robert: Is a Treasurer of an organization doing his job if he never looks at a bank statement for 3 years?

Gerald Weinand
Stealing is stealing, but did

Stealing is stealing, but did Wilkins really only steal $10,000 from the Maine GOP, but perhaps more in tax in regards to obligations to the Fed and State?

Before she was charged, almost $50,000 disappeared. Wilkins was indicted on charges of felony theft and forgery in February. She has pleaded not guilty.

According to the Republican Party filing with the state, Wilkins contributed nearly $40,000 to the party in the first quarter of 2009.

Dan Billings
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Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
No, she took nearly $50K from

No, she took nearly $50K from the party. That is what it says in the indictment.

Taxes are another matter.

Dan Billings
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Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
It has been suggested in this

It has been suggested in this thread and elsewhere that my column might somehow harm the case against Ms. Wilkins.

I spoke with the District Attorney tonight about this issue. While he does not endorse my view of this matter, he assured me that the case against Ms. Wilkins was rock solid and that nothing I have written would have any impact on there being a conviction.

Michelle Anderson
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Joined: 11/03/2003 - 1:01am
Quote:The people who have

[quote]The people who have made the party look bad are the so-called party leaders who have let this go on this long. People knew about the problem in January and let Phil stand for re-election and mislead the committee about his performance. They have let this go on for two months since the theft became public.

Again, I am forced to say the words everyone in their right mind dreads having to say: I agree with Dan Billings.

The fact is that Mr. Roy (apparently) did not notice that we were being robbed blind for three and a half years.

As a soon-to-be-former member of the GOP, I am thankful that someone finally pointed out what the party apparently either didn't think about or pretended not to: Mr. Roy's job was to account for the money and where it had been spent. He was apparently not doing his job -- for whatever reason.

Since Mr. Roy did not have the grace to step aside after failing at the job he was chosen to do, it was up to the party to tap him on the shoulder and whisper in his ear that he needed to do so.

Since they failed to do so, should the rest of the party shut up and also pretend the elephant was not in the room?

Thank you, Dan, for being the one to speak out on the fact that we were being woefully served by the man who should have been able to see that there was a problem with the money. If someone else spoke out publicly, I did not see it.

Michelle Anderson
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Joined: 11/03/2003 - 1:01am
Quote:Roy's virtual

[quote]Roy's virtual fumfers...

Good heavens! Again I have a vocabulary question: What is a "fumfer"? (I like the sound of it, but am loathe to use it until I know what it is...)

Michelle Anderson
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Joined: 11/03/2003 - 1:01am
Quote:Robert is 100% right

[quote]Robert is 100% right here, this should have happen behind closed doors.

If you read what Dan Billings wrote, you will see that he gave the party AND Mr. Roy the chance to do just that. They decided not to do it that way.

Michelle Anderson
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Joined: 11/03/2003 - 1:01am
Quote:Philip Roy did not

[quote]Philip Roy did not embezzle, nor did he gain anything by what occurred. He simply may have been asleep at the wheel when it occurred bu so were other members of the parties leadership.

Nor did he do his job, which was, in part, to watch over the money. His motivation was not suspect. His ability is.

Sleeping at the wheel is one thing: he was apparently comatose for more than 3 years!

Mike Lange
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Joined: 12/26/2006 - 6:23am
As the part time executive

As the part time executive director of a non-profit organization, I have control of the checkbook. But every month, I send copies of the bank statements to the treasurer and association president. Also, I have the treasurer sign my monthly paycheck and give a financial report at every board meeting.

Under this system, there is very little opportunity for abuse. So it's rather puzzling why an elected or appointed treasurer of a party organization apparently didn't monitor the transactions.

Unfortunately, I have a feeling that nothing will come out of today's state meeting, unless those who want to dump Phil Roy have a viable replacement in the wings.

Dan Billings
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Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
It seems to me that the

It seems to me that the standards for being a "viable" replacmenet would be pretty low.

How about someone who will look at bank statements every other month?

Bob Stone
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Joined: 06/08/2003 - 12:01am
I would suggest that anyone

I would suggest that anyone who maintains a banking relationship for an outside (as in ... not your own personal account) insist on the following controls:

1. The person signing the checks is not the person reconciling the checking account.
2. Reconciling means reconciling...not simply looking at the statement. Document the reconciliation and sign the reconciliation document.
3. Staple the signed reconciliaton document to the hard copy of the bank statement. Insist on another officer of the organization reviewing, understanding the reconciliation, and counter-signing the reconciliation document.

All of this is defines minimal separation of duties.

Proper controls protect the check signer, the statement reconciler and the organization. I would not touch the books or checkbook of an organization that didn't adhere to at least these controls. It is too risky and open to fraud. (see multiple embezzlements reported these days)

There are also automated bill payment services, available from some banks, that permit a person to create a payment have have those payments "released" by another person superior to the person creating the checks. This is also a good control.

Lefty
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Joined: 01/18/2006 - 10:19pm
For me, Dan calling out the

For me, Dan calling out the problems with the Treasurer go beyond this issue for me. It's shows that someone is not afraid to take on the establishment of the "good ole' boy network" that has plaguing both parties for far too long. For me, and others like Michelle, it's a breath of fresh air that someone is not afraid to stand up and point out flaws with the party. I have been a Registered Republican since I was able to vote. Election year after election year, I would always put out signs in my area and did phone banking/door to door stuff in 2004 and 2008. When you're involved at that level, you find out the people in your area are not all "well established, well connected, Augusta elitists" who think they know more than everyone else. They too, are fed up with both parties and their antics. Politics are dirty - plain and simple. When I brought up issues or criticized things that I saw, I was quickly shunned. When a party continues turning LEFT on you and not valuing your values and opinions, you quickly get fed up to the point of wanting to leave the party, just like Michelle.

Dan's supposed airing of "dirty laundry" gets a two thumbs up from me.

"You've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything"

Corvus
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Joined: 03/10/2005 - 1:01am
fumfer verb to fumfer A

fumfer
verb to fumfer A Yiddish word meaning to "mumble", most often used to mean to be evasive; can also mean to putter aimlessly or to waste time.

  1. to stammer; to mutter nervously or confusedly;

Source: http://www.allwords.com/word-fumfer.html

Michelle Anderson
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Joined: 11/03/2003 - 1:01am
Thank you, Corvus! It's a

Thank you, Corvus! It's a wonderful word, and even so without knowing the definition! I will be using it henceforth.

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