But that isn't what I wanted to discuss today. It was just there.
If you go to the Sierra Madre News.net site you will see that there is an item from January 15th entitled Chamber of Commerce Announces New Board of Directors. (Look left and scroll down.) Briefly here is what it has to say:
The Sierra Madre Chamber of Commerce held its annual Members' Meeting on Jan. 6th and the ballots from the election of the Board of Directors for 2010 were counted.
With that notice is listed the newly elected members of the Chamber's Board of Directors. And among them is the publisher of the Mountain Views News, Susan Henderson.
One of the things that has driven the success of the Chamber of Commerce business model here in the U.S. is its strong advocacy for the needs of private enterprise over the relentless encroachment of government. And while this doesn't always sit well with the more social activist types amongst us, the Chamber has been highly effective in taking care of the needs of its core constituency. And one the most effective tools in their advocacy of business rights has been their stringent adherence to the highest ethical and moral principles. Something that is deeply ingrained in the Chamber ethos, and which has helped them to maintain an international leadership position.
Which is why the ascension of Susan Henderson to the Board of Directors of our local Chamber of Commerce is problematic. And it isn't just about her being removed from an important state wide position with the California Democrats for fibbing on a resume' that we're concerned about. Or her misuse of a party credit card for golf junkets or the purchasing of lingerie at Victoria's Secret. All of which was covered by the San Francisco Chronicle and can be found here.
No, the problem we're more concerned about is how exactly she came to control the business that qualifies her for so ethically sensitive a position in our community. Because according to California Superior Court Judge Edward C. Simpson, her acquisition of the paper, the Mountain Views News, was not exactly according to Hoyle. Here is his complete decision on this matter:
Katina Dunn, Plaintiff Vs.
DEUXAMIS PUBLISHING, INC. a California corporation; SUSAN HENDERSON, an individual; and DOES 1 through 20, inclusive. Defendents.
Case NO. GC039149
This case came on regularly for Trial on December 8, 2008 through December 9, 2008 in Department R of the above-entitled Court, the Honorable Edward C. Simpson, judge presiding. Plaintiff, KATINA DUNN ("DUNN"), appeared by her attorney of record, LAURA V. FARBER of Hahn & Hahn. Defendent, H. SUSAN HENDERSON ("HENDERSON") appeared. In Pro Per. Witnesses on the part of both Plaintiff and Defendant were sworn in open Court and examined and exhibits were admitted into evidence. After hearing the testimony, reviewing the evidence and the arguments of counsel, the Court rendered its decision as follows:
Based on findings of fact and application of the law, the Court issued a judgement for DUNN against HENDERSON on the shareholder derivative claims brought against HENDERSON for breach of fiduciary duty.
WHEREFORE, by virtue of the law, IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that DEUXAMIS PUBLISHING, INC. ("DEUXAMIS") has a judgement against HENDERSON in the amount of $41,994.74 on the basis of HENDERSON'S failure to provide capital contributions to DEUXAMIS.
WHEREFORE, by virtue of the law, IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that DEUXAMIS be dissolved.
WHEREFORE, by virtue of the law, IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that due to HENDERSON'S misappropriation of design, masthead and formatting of the Mount-Wilson Observer, that injunctive relief be granted against Henderson and that she be required to eliminate use of the word"OBSERVER" in all Mountain Views-Observer newspapers, published both in print and on website and on any other documents bearing the name, "Mountain Views-Observer."
WHEREFORE, by virtue of the law, IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that DUNN as a shareholder having successfully brought a shareholder derivative claim on behalf of DEUXAMIS, is the prevailing party against HENDERSON.
Dated: Dec 30, 2008
Edward C. Simpson
Judge of the Superior Court
(It must be noted here that out of the nearly $42,000 that is owed to the plaintiff in this case, only a miniscule amount has been paid to date. We'll see how patient the Court will continue to be in this matter.)
I would hate to think that these are the kinds of things that the Sierra Madre Chamber of Commerce advocates, or finds to be acceptable business practice. Or rewards through prestigious appointments such as a Board of Directors slot. And since we do try and be charitable, I will assume that they were not as aware of the material reproduced here as Tattler readers are.