The leadership of Teens Happy Homes holds a board meeting in September 2010. They discuss the then-recent launch of a financial audit by the Los Angeles County Auditor-Controller that they expected would expose management breakdowns and weak financial controls. More than two years later, no financial audit has been completed by the county.
Jorge Gutierrez, a management consultant for Teens Happy Homes, warns agency officials that they are “on the path to being closed.” He cites then-recent arrests in the Bell corruption scandal as a cautionary tale for agency officials that shows they might be held personally responsible for problems.
Gutierrez tells Teens Happy Homes Chief Executive Beautina Robinson that a car improperly purchased with agency funds and placed in her name needs to be transferred to the agency. “Do it now,” he advises, adding she needs to pay for getting the car smogged and re-registered out of her own pocket.
A Teens Happy Homes consultant advises agency officials that auditors might “harp” on the use of a Robinson’s personal credit card to pay for agency expenses. She notes Robinson’s card was used “because Teens couldn’t qualify for a credit card.”
Gutierrez advises Teens Happy Homes leaders that the closure of another agency had to do more with financial matters than the death of a child in its care. He notes that foster family contractors have “deaths happen all the time” but “they don’t close you down for a death all the time, OK?”
Gutierrez advises agency officials that he has a close friend at the Los Angeles County Auditor-Controller who has told him auditors have seen “checks that were being made to people who didn’t work here.” When someone suggests it is “hearsay,” Gutierrez replies “they’re going to prove it…if it’s happening, you guys need to stop it.”
When Gutierrez advises that board members should be getting a stipend, Robinson says the board never voted to provide one. “I don’t want to tell it out but I will,” she said. “… I’ve taken care of the board that needed it personally, myself, and I would prefer the board keep it that way.”