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Monday May 10, 2021

Update on the State of Ohio Attorney General’s Office (AGO) vs Verne Taylor, Jr.

HISTORY

From 2011 to 2019, Verne Taylor, Jr (VT) served as President to the Ohio Association of the Deaf (OAD) along with Linda Mahmood (LM) who was Treasurer at the same time for OAD.

2019

At an official OAD member’s meeting in Nov, 2019; the members voted 3 individuals to serve on an independent Financial Review Committee (FRC) to investigate all known monies in and out of OAD from 2012 to 2019.

Why those dates? Legally there is limitation on 7 years looking back and the start of the FRC’s investigation began in Dec 2019.

After removing VT and LM from any access to OAD finances as of Sept/Oct 2019, all checking and investment(s) monies remained secured from further misuse, but the damage was done.

2020   

FRC made its report to over 80 OAD members at two locations, Columbus and Cleveland. The report showed over $150,000.00 mainly from investments and 2 restricted funds between 2012 to Sept 2019 were misused and mishandled and used personally by VT and LM

Over 120 pages of the FRC’s report was sent to the AGO’s Investigator. OAD selected the FRC Chair to be the point of contact with the AGO

Asst Atty General contacted OAD to tell them the investigation was complete and “Letters of Findings” against VT and LM were being filed in Franklin County Court on Jun 25, 2020 and sent to them individually for their individual reply in 10 days. (See Franklin County Ohio Court online #20CV006990 for VT and #20MS000282 for LM) VT asked for a 30-day extension to Jul 25, which was given by AGO

LM signed her “Letter of Findings” agreeing to her violations of OAD’s Charitable Funds Agreed to pay $5,000.00 to AGO as Civil Penalty and is forbidden to be a part of any State of Ohio Charitable Organization or Non-Profit Organization in any position for 5 years.

VT did not respond to his extended “Letter of Findings“. AGO gave him another 30 days to respond.

VT still did not respond, AGO filed a Complaint against him where he had 30 days from Nov 2nd to respond to a summons due by Dec 7th . He again did not respond. 2021

2021

AGO filed directly to the Judge a 10-day order to respond or the AGO asked to take action and set aside VT court hearing on Oct, 2021. VT again did not respond in the required 10 days.

Franklin County Judge granted the AGO’s motion for default judgement against VT. Verne Taylor Jr., is now required to pay all fines of Restitution & Civil Penalties within 90 days. If he fails to reply again, the matter will be turned over to the AGO’s Collection Section to impose payment or disgorge his assets gained from monies taken from OAD. Imposed a 90 day response from VT before AGO will take action to collect.

OAD was informed by the Asst Atty General that the court granted AGO their motion for default judgement against VT.


Verne file for an appeal to the lower court’s #20CV006990 finding and was assigned an A new court #21AP108 for pre-hearing appellate mediation set for April 21 at 1:30 pm with AG Chavez present. Meeting to be held by Zoom.

Zoom mtg was held and the Appellate Court found no reason to prosecute further Upholding the lower court’s decision to proceed action against Verne Taylor due to his lacking to provide documents to overturn the lower court’s decision.

Verne requested and was granted an extension to his appeal he argued the documents being in English for the court had to be translated from his native language of ASL to to English. Court granted him until May 28, 2021 to produce such documents showing why the findings by the lower court granted to the AGO’s case against him should be appealed.

Details of negotiations will be shared if VT loses his appeal and is forced to pay in full or in part the $140,247.84 + interest in Restitution and his $40,000.00 Civil Penalty + all court costs. Should he lose his Appeal, VT is prohibited for LIFE as being a part of ANY State of Ohio Charitable Organization and/or Non-Profit Organization within or associated with Ohio as an officer, volunteer, trustee, employee, representative, independent contractor or agent alike.

This includes any form or part of soliciting for charitable means for the purpose of fundraising and alike.

A LONG JOURNEY’S VIEWPOINT

Let us understand this action against Verne isn’t OAD vs Verne Taylor, no it’s the State of Ohio Attorney General vs Verne Taylor, Jr.

Many are saying this is only an OAD issue of money. It WAS and IS NOT the main reason why the recognized OAD by the Secretary of State and Attorney General of Ohio pursued this matter.

It is about what really matters: HONESTY and TRUST and RESPECT while in Leadership.

In its court filing the Attorney General (AGO) found 6 Counts against Verne Taylor, Jr., all are the legal findings by the AGO’s investigation and not by OAD or by any others. These are SERIOUS violation of OHIO’s Charitable Laws which governs all charitable organizations of the State in which the AGO oversees. Verne was found under Ohio Law to have violated 6 counts of Charitable Laws of Ohio.

COUNT ONE:  Unjust Enrichment (VT had knowledge of benefits unjustly received by him)

COUNT TWO: Conversion (VT wrongly took possession of OAD assets)

COUNT THREE:  Breach of Fiduciary Duties (care & a duty to protect the interest of OAD above VT’s own personal interest by diverting charitable assets for his personal use given his position as OAD President)

COUNT FOUR:  False and Misleading Information on Filings: (VT made false or misleading information in OAD annual reports to the AGO for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016. Plus missed filings thru 2018.

COUNTS FIVE:  Breach of Fiduciary Duties R.C.1716.17 (multiple breach under Charitable Laws of Ohio as a person acting in a fiduciary capacity of a charitable Ohio organization)

COUNT SIX:  Abuse of a Charitable Trust, R.C. 109.24: 9 (the Attorney General shall “institute and prosecute” proper action to enforce the performance of any Ohio charitable trust)

Verne Taylor, Jr. has solely brought this to himself by ignoring deadlines & summons or asking for extensions which were never met by himself in good faith upon him to the AGO or court, and because without membership approval he took unreported funds for his own use. This was and is each OAD Member’s money. Linda Mahmood by signing her “Letter of Findings” has admitted her part and has moved on. However, she implicates VT because she would not have done this alone without VT’s knowledge or agreement as President over the many years.

Now, Verne is attempting to further delay the low court’s findings by moving through the Appellate Court, which he is entitled.

Again, this is about identifying what happened to an Ohio Charitable 60-year organization reduced from $140,000.00 plus interest plus lost investment growth to now $9,000.00 all within 7 years violating Ohio Law and trust given to him as President. Leaders from years ago including Verne’s own father and that peer group who built OAD to 1000 members only to see it disrespected and for what? Now a divided organization because of Verne’s denial and actions. Some of you will say “where was the Board, why were they not watching”, it's hard to watch when the truth isn’t being shared, even when it was asked many times until ENOUGH was ENOUGH!

Think about what this organization could have done collectively and/or legislatively to Improve Deaf Awareness and Needs, Deaf Education, Deaf Literacy, Improved access to Quality Interpreting wherever the Deaf needed, Helping Homeless Deaf Individual and more; all of these in ways benefitting Statewide from the growing of those funds TODAY.

Yes, the money is gone but our Deaf Hearts aren’t. We all across the state need to put this behind us, while always remembering it to protect us from leaders of the future with similar ideas of self-gains at the expense of US the members without asking questions only to be bullied to be quiet. Or ignored.

We need to find a way to stop the division this has created, put aside egos and cliques, to find solutions to build once again a UNITED OAD through communications starting TODAY. Let’s all be a part of the new solution and not of the old division.

And we await the court’s decision as to if or when OAD will see any of these funds returned. That isn’t important that the broken trust by an once d/Deaf leader be brought to justice for his actions against HIS community.

Jack L. Hawk, Who has been given the task to speak to Asst Attorney General Tammy Chavez who is overseeing the case for the AGO.

For more information:  Please go to Franklin County Ohio Clerk of Courts of the Common Pleas review all the online documents under the following cases;

(It is true that in Linda’s case she was fined $5,000.00 for the AG’s efforts and the charitable organization received nothing. That may not be the case with Verne’s. But again, it isn’t about the money at this point)

Jack L. Hawk,

OAD-CFO/Treasurer