One of THE most important tasks of a nonprofit board is to hire an executive. For some nonprofits this task also proves to be the most difficult. The following story highlights where a board may not have done its best hire. At the same time, the board, if the claims are accurate, may have done a great job in its hire but had not prepared their new hire for understanding how the organization did business, proper or otherwise. Is hiring all about fit?
From News Oklahoma:
Watts sues Oklahoma City-based Feed the Children Nolan Clay by Nolan Clay Published: April 10, 2017 10:00 PM CDT Updated: April 11, 2017 8:54 AM CDT 44 shares 11 J.C. Watts J.C. Watts
J.C. Watts is suing Feed the Children. Watts, a former U.S. congressman, was president and CEO of the Oklahoma City-based charity last year. He alleged in the lawsuit that he was fired in retaliation for reporting problems and irregularities at the charity to the state attorney general's office.
Watts abruptly left the charity in November, less than 10 months into his three-year contract. Watts claimed the board of directors terminated him during a special meeting Nov. 4, one day after he told a director he had reported his allegations to the AG's office. Watts stated in the lawsuit he went to the AG's public protection unit Oct. 18 after attempting to discuss the problems and irregularities with the board on several occasions. He claimed the board would not meet with him.
The AG's public protection unit began an official inquiry after Watts complained. That inquiry is still underway. Assisting in the inquiry as a special prosecutor is Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater. Related to this story New turmoil at Feed the Children Feed the Children sued over counsel job AG inquiry of Feed the Children is underway Feed the Children Lawsuit The lawsuit against Feed the Children was filed Monday in Oklahoma County District Court. The lawsuit also named as defendants the six directors on the board last year. Watts is seeking to be compensated for financial damages and emotional distress. He also is seeking punitive damages.
Feed the Children does not comment on pending lawsuits. It has called the "alleged issues" raised by Watts baseless and without merit. Watts also claimed in the lawsuit that he was lied to when he was recruited to be the CEO and president. He alleged the defendants falsely represented the charity "was on a solid financial and organizational foundation and had resolved the well-publicized past problems." He alleged the defendants made the false representations to entice him to accept their job offer "and secure desperately needed funding." He claimed he quickly found out the defendants were only interested in his fundraising abilities "and did not want any interference with the long-running practices of the organization."