The Pensacola Humanitarian Society has closed its doors for the time being, as most of its staff quit their jobs after the board accused them of mismanaging funds.
A notice posted on the agency’s Facebook page this week apologized to patrons for the inconvenience and said the Humane Society would continue the closure “until further notice.”
By December 28, agency staff worked to move remaining Human Society animals to Escambia County Animal Shelter and Santa Rosa County Animal Services.
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Department heads and volunteers resign from the Humanitarian Society following the dismissal of the agency’s director of development, Manda Moore-Joseph, who had been vocal in criticizing the Humanitarian Society’s board and its president, Gerald Adcox. I have made a decision.
Moore-Joseph resigned as Interim Executive Director shortly before his dismissal, but remained employed as Director of Development, but was on leave until the end of the year when he learned of the Board’s decision.
In December, a group calling themselves We The Organization publicly circulated a letter warning the board and demanding that Adcox be removed as board chairman. When asked at a group meeting by a member of the board of directors to specifically name the person who sent the letter, the staff, volunteers and foster parents responded, “We did.”
The letter said We The Organization chose to stand together to “oppose the board of directors for improper management, diversion and violation of the bylaws.”
“We, the Organization, will not remain ignorant of the current financial situation of the Humane Society of Pensacola, nor will we continue to be governed by those who have failed to be good stewards of the Humane Society of Pensacola.
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At meetings held between board members and staff, volunteers and animal fosters after the letter was issued, board members were adamant that the board did not misappropriate the funds. , did not directly address the staff’s allegations that thousands of dollars were lost from the restrictions agency’s accounts were unavailable when efforts were made to access funds such as feral cat programs and emergency vaccines.
Moore-Joseph said it was illegal to take money from a non-profit account set aside for certain expenses. She claimed that she was doing
“We were in a financial crisis. They (the board) were using restricted funds as if they didn’t understand that it was illegal,” Moore-Joseph said. Stated. “It was their fiduciary duty and they failed miserably because they weren’t paying attention. It’s ridiculous.”
It wouldn’t be the first time Moore-Joseph has accused animal rights groups of wasting money if she sued the Humane Society board, as she had planned.
Moore-Joseph worked in Okaloosa County as the Community Development Director for the Panhandle Animal Welfare Service (PAWS) until he was laid off in September 2019. She was fired for coming forward as a whistleblower, according to her 2020 lawsuit. She speaks out against financial mismanagement.
It alleges that former PAWS director Dee Thompson misused and fraudulently applied PAWS funds and made false statements to obtain or retain grants.
The lawsuit, filed on August 21, 2020, said, “Ms. Moore contested any activity she believed violated any law, rule, or regulation.”
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The lawsuit also alleges that members of PAWS’s steering committee were suing Moore-Joseph when he sat on the board of directors and objected to “the use of restricted funds for purposes other than those for which the funds were originally intended.” claimed to be hostile.
Thompson abruptly resigned in February 2020 for personal reasons. Her Tracey Williams, who succeeded her as executive her director, promised to dramatically change the way PAWS does business. This agency serves as both animal control and animal shelter for Okaloosa County.
Moore-Joseph and PAWS entered arbitration in February 2021 and the lawsuit was resolved on February 9. According to the records of the Okaloosa Clerk, Moore-Joseph voluntarily dismissed his claims with prejudice.
The terms of the settlement remain confidential. When contacted on Wednesday, Moore-Joseph said he had signed a non-disclosure agreement, adding that he had “been transparent with both employers advancing my career.”
Board members of the Pensacola Humanitarian Society contacted for this story did not return requests for comment.