Fired Ct Humane Society Finance Assistant Has Questions For CHS Board

May 20, 2010

The following is a letter that Bridget C Karchere, former Conn Humane Society finance assistant, send to the new leaders of the board of directors.

It was written after the new chairman – Chris White – falsely told a donor that the board had met with disgruntled workers who had been fired.

“I was hoping that when Chris White contacted me,” Bridget told me “I could ask him, what was in my personnel file that prompted my termination? He states that due to what was in my personnel file my firing was legit. Which puzzles me, I was never written up at CHS. I, in fact, was considered a key staff member, and personally congratulated by Richard Johnston, in October 2009, for what a good job I was doing as the Finance Assistant. Of course this was prior to the news of the petition for Union representation at CHS.”

Bridget Kachere

“The only reason I was fired was for “participating in Union activities.” This is what Ray Gasecki and Janice Marzano told me when they fired me on December 18th 2009. And, this is what CHS also represented to the unemployment office as the reasoning for my termination. This seems odd; because I was not a manager and had every legal right to want a Union to represent me, because of the hostile work environment at CHS.”

Alas, I have not received a response regarding my urgent letter and the dire situation at CHS. So I am presenting this to you in hopes that by making it publically available I will receive some form of communication from the CHS Board of Directors.”

Chris and Bob,

Well, it’s about time the “subcommittee” is willing to accept correspondence from the terminated employees. However, I am very displeased with the fact that this has been misrepresented to donors, staff, volunteers, and the general public about your willingness to do so. Until recently, May 8th to be exact, we were told that you wanted no form of communication with the terminated employees, myself included. But, in letters to donors Chris White stated he had met with us, and in communication to volunteers, Bob Baseler, stated that this opportunity was available to us all along. Why is that?

Also, it has become apparent to me that members of the Board of Directors have stated that terminated employees/Coalition members are cowards. I find this statement to be, somewhat, amusing, as well as immature. It seems to me the real cowards are the members of the BOD.

For instance, Bob, I was in meetings with you where you attempted to stand up to Richard Johnston when he was being unreasonable, and I saw him basically back you into a corner until you gave up. Later you submitted a formal apology to him for disagreeing with him. Why were you apologetic for being reasonable and speaking up for what was right? And, Chris White, one occurrence that stands out in my mind is when George Gombossy courageously challenged you to a public debate. Not only did you not show up for the debate, but you did not respond to his request at all.

So tell me, how are the Coalition members cowards? Myself, Maureen, and the other fired employees stood up to Richard when no one else would; in fact we were betrayed by other staff who were fed up with Richard as well; and why, because they wanted to save their own hides. We lost our jobs, health insurance, veterinarians, and had our names slandered publically all to stop this horrible tyranny. How are we cowards? The members of the Coalition for Change have been threatened with law suits, have been lied about as well, and yet continue to work tirelessly, against all odds, to save the animals and dedicated staff that are innocently caught up in this mess at the Connecticut Humane Society. So if that is cowardly, we must be cowards.

Also, a question that constantly replays in my mind is, how do you sleep at night? It’s obvious, blatantly apparent, that the management staff at CHS, who I might remind you were hired by Richard, are completely and utterly unqualified for their positions. Yet, you defend these perpetrators to the bloody end. And, despite what OSHA, the Attorney General, the media, the NLRB, and animal professionals all over the state say about the corruption at CHS, you continue to lie to the public and act as though the Coalition members are pulling this out of thin air. Let me ask you, if the Coalition for Change members are being untrue, what would they have to gain from this mess?

In regards to the statistics I presented initially to the Attorney General and the public; they are in fact correct. Do either of you, or maybe Leslie White who fervently states that they are inaccurate, know about the conversion from Shelter Buddy to Petpoint and the inaccurate statistics, the misuse of the system? Do you know how to create and generate accurate reports form ADP? Do either of you know anything about the conditions or staffing paradigm at that time? Which employees handled animals, and which ones strictly did not, but were labeled as such? Do you know any of the employees that were terminated, transferred, or on light duty during that time frame? Of course not; even the CFO, District Manager, and supposed HR Administrator were unaware of such details. What about the fact that when I did present the data to the CFO, he triple checked my numbers and agreed that they were indeed accurate?

In fact, I was reprimanded for having staffing concerns, and for presenting accurate statistical data. I was told by Janice Marzano, that this was “not my job”. I was the Finance Assistant, if it wasn’t my job, than whose was it? The CFO’s? He didn’t even know that rabbits were adopted out at CHS or that there is a rabbit room downstairs at the Newington shelter, when he had been employed at CHS for over a year. It was highly apparent that he had no clue of what was going on at the shelter.

The point to this tirade is that I welcome you, at any time, to publicly debate my statistics regarding staffing shortages, and euthanasia statistics at the Newington shelter. Please name a time and a place and I will bring all of my backup and information with me. I am completely comfortable in doing so.

This brings to me to another gripe I have with the BOD and management team at CHS. Where is the transparency in your statistics? You should make available to the public staffing statistics for each branch, euthanasia statistics, and detailed financial information should at least be available to donors. For instance, how much money actually is spent on Humane Education versus what is advertised to be spent on such programs?

In closing, I welcome the opportunity to meet with the subcommittee publicly, to debate my findings. I also ask that seats on the BOD are made available to the Coalition members, people who truly deserve them and know what to do with them. Also, management and behavior concerns should be taken seriously, not brushed under the carpet and covered up. These issues need to be corrected now, and fast.

These are not ludicrous demands; they are totally reasonable and logical solutions to the current and dire situation at CHS. Each of you should finally decide to do what is right; either walk away, or change your tune, and fix this horrible mess.

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15 Responses to Fired Ct Humane Society Finance Assistant Has Questions For CHS Board

  1. Rescue in CT 4 cats on May 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Wow! Love it…

  2. Deep Paw on May 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Agreed on all points!

  3. Mayor Of Dogtown on May 20, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    If the remaining staff had half the courage that you show, the place could have been turned over years ago but people lived in fear of the Wicked Ruler of the Evil Empire known as CHS. It’s amazing that great employees can be terminated and for ridiculous reasons and NOT have people to go to once this happens. The BOD turns a blind eye to helping those who were wronged because they feel they have to “trust the managers” to do the right thing. They obviously have not done the right thing for years or so many former staff members would not be on here bloqing about it. Come on BOD, DO YOUR JOB, do the right thing and fix this mess of an organization.

  4. Azy on May 20, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    This letter was not only well written but it really truly is based upon facts. You would think that the board of directors would have more awareness and care when it comes to the Connecticut Humane Society. Why the hell are they even on the board???? Especially Chris White who clearly comes off to be ridiculously STUPID. Like really??? I would pay to see him debate the horrible findings and current problems at CHS. He has been caught in so many lies, and really doesn’t know what he is talking about. I wouldn’t doubt if he is still being led on the side by Richard Johnston because god forbid the BOD doesn’t have their “$200” lunches. A change needs to happen soon!!!

  5. enough is enough on May 20, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    I’m sure CHS will deny all ,Bridget. Isn’t that what they do best. DENY, DENY, DENY! Chris White is a liar, there was a board meeting this week in which he and several other members of the board were at the shelter for over 4 hours. They stayed upstairs hidden all day and not one of them made any attempt to talk to the staff. One of them, Bob, didn’t even know where the medical department was and had to be shown by a volunteer!
    As far as Janice is concerned, she has NO clue on how to do her job, she treats everyone like they are idiots, she lacks moral and has no compassion for people. She hides in her office with the light off and hates to be bothered by employees. Same applies to Ray.
    I’m sorry that 5 employees were terminated for having a HEART and not letting these issues continue……..We still have a long road ahead……..TOGETHER…….We will make a difference.

  6. Monica on May 20, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Great letter!! If this doesn’t get their attention then I don’t know what will. This situation totally changed my impression of the Humane Society. I taught the whole philosophy of the organization was to help animals not screw people over.

  7. NoName on May 20, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Hard to debate if you have no knowledge of what REALLY goes on. BOD is lost but is REALLY good at telling people whatever they want to hear.

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  9. Cathy DeMarco on May 21, 2010 at 12:09 am

    Bridget’s information is unfortunately true. There is so much at CHS that needs improvement it is truly overwhelming. Due to the fact that the BOD has left many unethical and incompetent people in managerial positions, real progressive change will probably take a long time. It is sad that the Coalition has had to take on what should have been the board’s responsibilities. Absolutely nothing would’ve happened if our members had not come forward with all of this information. There was zero interest in finding out the truth about what was going on at CHS for 20 years. Bridget lost everything in her courageous quest to help the animals and workers finally receive the humane treatment that they have always deserved.

  10. Anita on May 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Well if this letter doesn’t just say it all!
    I wonder how much of that donated $$$ actually does go to the animals…from the sound of it, not much!

  11. Elizabeth Strole on May 22, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Does anyone know what happened to Sara and Buffy, 2 cats that had been at CHS for a couple months (at least) and are not showing up on the website anymore? I hope they got adopted as opposed to the alternative! Please let me know.

  12. Mom on May 24, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Bridget, your letter is very well stated – clearly you have nothing to hide, and the cowards are not the members of the coalition, but the BOD! When will the board step up to the plate, and do what is right, or step down? They obviously have their own personal agenda, and it is not the health and safety of the animals, or the humans at the CHS. How dare they attack, and try to slander one brave, and innocent young woman who stood up for what is right, at the expense of her job, and her own personal security. They should be ashamed of themselves!

    The BOD obviously are in up to their chins with Dick Johnstone, and for some reason, not yet evident, are sticking to his tails feathers – I assume then that they are still afraid of Dick, or they fear for exposure of their own wrong doings, or are benefiting in some way. Hmmmmm, what other reason would they have to avoid facing, and finding the truth? What a challenge you have served them Bridget, so now let’s just see who the coward is!

  13. Shelley on May 24, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I continue to be amazed by the fact that these
    issues have not been dealt with already. Mrs. Karchere’s statements are
    well spoken and factual. Right on! I can only hope and pray
    that the animals, employees, and volunteers are treated
    humanely sooner than later. The BOD should be ashamed of themselves
    for the lack of responsibility they have taken.

  14. Kristen on June 1, 2010 at 11:00 am

    My words could never describe the frustration and utter disgust I have for Chris White and the BOD. I hope this will haunt them until they fix this mess. You all should be ashamed of yourselves for falsely accusing innocent people Just to take the spotlight off of yourselves. Own up to your mistakes and make the necessary efforts to provide a healthy environment for the animals and employees.

  15. Kyle on June 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I dislike unions in any form intensely. They are ruining our country and so unnecessary and outdated. We can no longer compete on a global scale because of the damage inflicted by unions. Artificially inflated prices mean we lose all the time.

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