Blumenthal Investigation Into Conn Humane Society Continues

March 23, 2010

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said today that his investigation into allegations against the Connecticut Humane Society will continue even though its president and chairman resigned Monday.

Blumenthal said that embattled president Richard Johnston’s resignation should be used by the society “to review its management structure and refocus its critical charitable mission.”

Blumenthal had been investigating CHS, one of the oldest and best-known charities in this state, off and on for the past three years.

His investigations failed to turn up any serious evidence of wrongdoing until early in January when I provided his office with signed statement from fired CHS workers making serious allegations against Johnston and the board of directors, whom he headed as chairman, besides being its full-time president and director. Blumenthal then restarted his investigation.

I would go farther than Blumenthal and suggest that most of the members of the board follow Johnston’s lead and also resign. Johnston’s mean-spirited and anti-animal management was overseen by the board. While board members might claim that they didn’t know what was going on (not a good defense for a board member) they continued to publicly support Johnston after accusations against him were made public.

The first person who should resign, in my view, is Chris White – who was elected chairman Monday. White has been on the board for 15 years but knew little of what was going on until recently when he was made head of the committee investigating the accusations against Johnston.

As someone whose publishing business received more than $30,000 in advertising fees from the society, White should turn the gavel over to someone whose first priority is making sure the society’s values of caring for helpless animals are returned.

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9 Responses to Blumenthal Investigation Into Conn Humane Society Continues

  1. Mer on March 23, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Not to undermine the positive changes the Board as implemented so far, but….

    I don’t suppose the Board was willing to explain WHY they chose someone so personally invested in CHS’ spending to lead this investigation and replace Johnston? If they have a good reason I’d love to hear it. It doesn’t exactly shine an attractive light on the Board or their ability to lead.

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  3. Greyhound lover on April 3, 2010 at 8:54 am

    The CHS BOD and management needs to be removed now. In my view they should be persecuted for their crimes. What they did to the workers was immoral and illegal. What they did to the animals was criminal and down right unforgivable.
    They murdered innocent animals without regret and stopped wonderful individuals from helping them, repeatedly, for their own gain.
    Shame on you BOD, CFO, Executive Assistants, and PR Director…as well as the shelter managers! What you have done is now coming back to haunt you…

  4. Yet another former employee on April 4, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    I wish I knew more information. Rumors of the way Richard made financial gains off CHS flew around, but no one had any proof. We as employees did see how CHS money was spent. He hired a demo crew to demo the trees in the back so he could start a dog park, well once it was discovered he couldn’t legally do that, he hired the crew to “fix” what he had started. He spent tons of money on the bus, that sits as a billboard. The rescue vehicle that sits in the parking lot. He bought huge stone accents for the dog park site, stone benches, bird baths, worth thousands of dollars. We also watched a couple new presidential vehicles be bought for him. His latest was the Eddie Bauer edition, was any of this necessary? And for the staff, we never did work there for the money, there was no money to be made, and we understood that. But I can’t say it didn’t sting to watch the president flash around his expensive company car, get he gas paid for, and spend CHS money frivolously. Was the BOD watching any of this??

  5. jms on April 8, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Johnson tried to pawn his daughter on me one time when I was attending a fund raiser at the convention center. Not only was he a scam so ways his side kick Alecia who runs the volunteer program. Can’t imagine why someone who wants to volunteer could be rejected.

    New blood who cares about the cause needs to be implemented asap.

    Concerned big time.

    • Focus on April 9, 2010 at 9:31 am

      Alicia doesn’t run the volunteer program, she does PR work. And by PR work, I mean she writes a few snippets every now and then for the website (or has someone write it for her and puts her own name to it) and does little else. She is one of the first people that needs to go, if the Board does decide to clean house, and which they have a duty to do. She is not an asset to CHS at all and her replacement, whomever it may be, is sure to be infinitely better at the job, because you can’t get much worse than Alicia.

      • anony_mouse on April 9, 2010 at 3:05 pm

        Alicia had been the volunteer coordinator a while ago, the position now held (more successfully) by Melissa. As a Public Relations Manager, Alicia’s input to to advertise on AM radio, and Coutry FM, obviously the most popular choices. She has publicly stated a dislike of events, and any events that CHS does hold are organized by the local managers (for Westport and Waterford) or the animal behaviorist Joanne Lincoln (in Newington.) Alicia doesn’t seem to have any idea how to get word out about CHS, how to help in fundraising, or how to order manage PR materials. We will have calenders to give away until September, (who wants a 9 month old calendar) but we don’t have fridge magnets, pens, keychains, etc. that people always love to pick up.

        • Focus on April 9, 2010 at 5:19 pm

          The thing that bothers me is that there is really nothing to show for her efforts.

          At the Pet Expo this summer, we handed out tons of marketing materials, all of which was so old that it said that we had a Bethany branch and that we had PetSmart adoption centers. There is no excuse for that. It is downright embarrasing to hand out factually inaccurate promotional materials, and there is no excuse for it.

          She really needs at the head of the line in terms of people who need to be let go (right behind the pet killers).

  6. Greyhound lover on April 20, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    So the corruption and crimes against animals still continue at the CHS. Insiders report management is back to their old ways…being bullies and distorting the true mission of the society. What people don’t realize is that Dick Johnston may be gone, but the place is still run by his toadies. These unqualified managers, BOD members-esp the rotten chairman, and executives are the ones calling the shots. Don’t forget Dick hired these people because they would do whatever he said without question, they have no morals or true understanding or concern of what animal care really means. Not to mention they aided and abetted Dick in illegal practices! What is going on here? This is still allowed to happen? Not to mention the new chairmen of the BOD lies to the public on a constant basis.
    The behaviorist, if you can even call her that, has a breed bias. She openly stated that all labs are stupid dogs, plain and simple. She does not like herding breeds at all. She loves pitbulls…that’s about it. Currently she spends ALL her time with a pitbull named Bam Bam that has a bite history. He can’t even be placed through the society due to policy regarding bite history. While there are great dogs like Brady, who are not pitbulls, rotting away in the shelter. Brady has dog aggression…and they want to place him through a rescue. Can you believe that the richest animal organization in the state is looking for some tiny rescue to absorb the financial and behavioral implications this “dog aggressive” canine may incurr. They are unwilling to work with the dog, pay for it’s care, and place it for adoption themselves. The behaviorist does not have time for Brady because…A) he is not a pittbull B) She spends her day working with Bam Bam, a dog with a bite history. Dogs who have bite histories are usually euthanized at CHS. I am not wishing harm on pitbulls, but what goes for pitbulls should then be the standards for all dogs. And finally C) she is too busy trainging dogs to ride skateboards in the hall and watching YouTube than to work with the wonderful begaviorally challenged dogs that aren’t pitbulls at the shelter…Oh and we can’t forget euthanizing dogs after hours so as not to alert the staff…
    People please, do you see what’s going on here? Demand answers, help the coalition expose these crimes, and for pete’s sake don’t listen to Chris White’s lies.

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