Posted by RBC Updater RBC Updater

Some of you may remember Kirkpatrick Management Company (KMC) President Robert Kirkpatrick from the March 18, 2010 annual meeting.  Below is letter sent to to him from the former secretary for Ralph Bunche Cooperative (RBC) Taura Brown.

Dear Mr. Robert Kirkpatrick:

On September 28, 2010 my employment with Kirkpatrick Management Company (KMC) was terminated by Regional Property Manager Valerie Hall an hour and a half after I submitted a Hostile Working Environment complaint to Kirkpatrick Management Company (KMC) Human Resource Manager Susie Butler.  I was the Administrative Assistant/Leasing Agent at Ralph Bunche Cooperative (RBC).

To date, I still have not received a response to my complaint from HR.  I also have not received a response from your office regarding the request for further review of my termination that I submitted in writing via US Mail the day I was terminated.  I followed the procedure outlined in section 10 of the KMC Employee Handbook, and I had not been terminated prior to my Hostile Working Environment complaint.  Also, neither I nor my attorney has received my personnel file from HR as I requested on November 13, 2010 .  I also didn’t see anything pertaining to what I actually discussed with Valerie on the Fact-Finding Form regarding our August 4, 2010 conversation.

In case you’re wondering why you’re receiving a letter from me, it’s because today my phone got cut off.  My phone got cut off today, several of my bills delinquent, and I have been in dire straits since Valerie wrongfully terminated me.  I realize that you don’t care, but I thought I would tell you anyway.  Today, I also received a copy of the Fact-Finding Form submitted to the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) on October 4, 2010 by Susie regarding my termination from KMC.  It appears KMC is disputing my unemployment benefits.  I must say that I was rather surprised considering all of the illegal and unethical behavior that I have witnessed from your employees, particularly Valerie Hall.  I was also surprised by the fact that Susie reported things to the UIA that were absolutely untrue or inaccurately reported.  I don’t know Susie to be a liar. However, I know all too well that Valerie is, and I presume the information contained in the Fact-Finder came from her.

On Thursday, March 18, 2010 , you, the RBC Board of Directors, Valerie Hall, and Attorney Samuel Gunn participated in an annual meeting where Member Otis Jenkins was accused of securing a $25,000 Bank of America credit card holding RBC as the guarantor.  At this same meeting, Otis and his wife Dorothy Johnson were served with an eviction for violating the by-laws of RBC.  You, Sam Gunn, Carolyn Lee, Sharon Bolden, Kevin Kanoyton and especially Valerie were all aware that the information that was being provided to the members of RBC was absolutely false. I’m sure you recall the meeting went into utter and total chaos after Sam made the accusations and read Otis’ credit card charges aloud. Otis’ wife Dorothy Johnson who had no idea about the credit card or the charges on it was humiliated and ultimately conceded from the election for the Board and left in tears.  

I know that you and Valerie knew prior to March 18, 2010 that RBC was not the guarantor on Otis’ credit card, because on April 12, 2010, I spoke to a representative at Bank of America who called the office at RBC and told me that Valerie had been advised on two previous occasions, once in February and once on March 16, 2010 that RBC was unequivocally not the guarantor on Otis’ credit card.  After becoming aware of this, I requested Bank of America provide the information in writing which they did.  Bank of America was calling RBC, because at some point Valerie had given them the number as a contact for Otis, and called inquiring about his account from the office at RBC.  Bank of America continued to call three or four times, and each time they confirmed RBC was not the guarantor on Otis’ card as indicated at the annual meeting.  Since my termination, I have also confirmed with Bank of America that my calls and the ones prior to it regarding Otis Jenkins account were recorded and accurately logged.  I’m sure as your Regional Property Manager and a responsible employee that Valerie advised you that RBC was not the guarantor on Otis’ credit card before dragging you into an annual meeting as the face of KMC, especially since every other month KMC is finding a reason to put her picture in a newsletter or give her an award.  I’m sure Valerie also told you that she assisted in illegally obtaining copies of Otis’ bank statements by way of deceit and violating his right to privacy by extracting personal information from his member file to provide to Bank of America. She needed this information to verify Otis’ account to change the name and address on the account in order to get the bank statements.

On or around March 15, 2010 , Valerie had me fax Otis’ credit card statements to her.  Carolyn then called and had me fax the statements to her and to Sam. On March 19, 2010, Valerie further included me in this charade by having me overnight those fraudulently obtained credit card statements to Vic Muller so that he could begin “…investigating the option of our filing an insurance claim to cover this debt and/or legal expenses we will incur as a result of the fraud.”  It is my understanding that Vic is the insurance representative for RBC.  It is also my understanding that KMC and its employees are willing to further break the law through insurance fraud to evict an undesirable member.  Attempting to recoup $25,000 that KMC employees were well aware didn’t belong to RBC in the first place and attempting to claim legal expenses that were unnecessary is fraud.  

Valerie and Carolyn somehow obtained an address in Eastpointe , MI for Otis and Dorothy and then began investigating it.  Spending money and driving by the address trying to find out who lived there. Carolyn then called the office and requested that I use my resources to find out who lived there, but then Valerie, well aware that I had caught on to the ruse told Carolyn not to get anything regarding the address.  That was fine with me, since I wasn’t going to do it anyway.  I already knew that the Eastpointe address belonged to Otis and Dorothy’s son.  It didn’t require investigating, based on what Carolyn told me over the phone, common sense should have told Valerie, Sam and Carolyn who lived at the address.

For eight months, Valerie and the Board have continued to perpetuate this farce against Otis and Dorothy and waste thousands of RBC dollars on legal fees, court costs, an unnecessary investigation regarding this matter, armed security and the list goes on.   By allowing and approving everything that Valerie does, you have acted in collusion with them and allowed it.  That is not at all acting in good faith on behalf of RBC as a management company is supposed to. As you may or may not know, on November 12, 2010 , CCJ Ziolkowski determined, yet again, that RBC does not have a case against Otis and Dorothy. He also determined that “…their [Otis and Dorothy] membership at the Cooperative is in good standing…” and “The tenancy of Otis Jenkins and Dorothy Johnson may not be terminated for actions or allegations that were made prior to the entry of this Order [ 11-12-2010 ]” and “…Ralph Bunche Cooperative Homes, Inc. is hereby permanently restrained and enjoined from conducting a hearing for termination of membership by internal proceedings as it relates to the membership rights of Otis Jenkins and Dorothy Johnson at Ralph Bunche Cooperative Homes, Inc. for actions or allegations that were made prior to the entry of this Order.” I am not an attorney, but I guess it’s safe to say, you all have royally screwed this up.  It appears that’s why you all have failed to keep the membership at RBC abreast of what’s been going on.  Especially since now because of you, Valerie, and Carolyn’s actions, Otis and Dorothy are in a position to sue Bank of America, Sam, the Board, and KMC.  You would be wise to make sure that RBC does not have a budget and finance meeting, because I know for a fact this issue will come up.

This incident with Otis is only one of the numerous incidents that I witnessed as employee of KMC; illegal, unethical and egregious behavior that goes against HUD and Fair Housing guidelines. Aside from the initial shock and disappointment of my treatment while I was out on a medical leave and then my termination, I find myself absolutely stunned that KMC would have the unmitigated gall to contest my unemployment. In case you also didn’t know, Valerie had already determined that she was going to fire me before I came back to work...



Taura Brown

PS...In case Valerie didn't tell you, one of the members sent her a written complaint regarding Tereal being at the Mack &Mt. Elliott Liquor store on November 18, 2010 at 3:30 PM in his uniform with the RBC maintenance truck.  When confronted about it, Valerie got angry and the smartest thing she could come up with to respond with was "...he stopped to get cigarettes on his way from the bank."  No, he didn't.  She wasn't even at work that day. This is a fine example of the double standard and one-sided discipline I complained about. Tereal was doing what he and Ramell always do--whatever the Hell they want.