Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Re: Request for action voiding contract, investigation, civil and or criminal prosecution, and subsequent removal of government officials if violations of RCW 43.88 or other unlawful acts are found to have been committed

Dear Governor Gregoire, Auditor Sonntag and Attorney General McKenna:

I write in my capacity as a very concerned citizen and community stakeholder of Central Washington University and wish to express my concern that at least one prima facie violation of the Washington State Budget and Accounting Act, RCW 43.88, may have occurred in regards to the $500,000 James Gaudino bonus which the Central Washington University Trustees approved on October 7, 2011.  Last Friday, October 21, 2011, President Gaudino acknowledged that there is no plan or known source of the funding for his bonus and that the money could come from a variety of future income sources.  The act of granting Mr. Gaudino this bonus appears to be a direct attempt to do an end run around the painful and exhaustive attempts of the people of the State of Washington through their elected officials to deal with the current budget crisis. 

The Central Washington University Board of Trustees have an ethical duty as stated in their bylaws not to overexpend university funds and the bylaws also advise them that they are subject to the provisions of the Budget And Accounting Act, see CWU 1.5.1 (5) A which reads as follows: 

The Budget and Accounting Act contains severe penalties for the intentional or negligent overexpending or overencumbering of any appropriation made by law, for failing to properly account for any expenditure by fund, program or fiscal period, or for expending funds contrary to the terms, limits, or conditions of any appropriation made by law.

There is a tidal wave of public sentiment building against this bonus and the egregious and flagrant breach of the duty of good faith it represents against various stakeholders in the Central Washington University community, especially in light of the fact that no one knows where these funds will come from or if there will be a source of funds in the future for this contractual liability. 

The fact that the bonus is unfunded (I presume this to be language for taxation purposes) and unsecured, does not mean that this contract, if otherwise valid, would not be enforceable and payable by the University and ultimately the citizens of the State of Washington.  I might add that I am among a growing contingent of community stakeholders who do not see that President Gaudino has actually achieved significant progress in increasing the diversity or numbers of students enrolled on campus (the stated reasons given by the board for the incentive bonus) and believe him to be the beneficiary of both the downturn of the economy and the stellar work performed by the President Emerita, Jerrilyn McIntyre.  Moreover, I believe Mr. Gaudino‚Äôs ability to lead the university has been seriously compromised by many other acts as well and that serious consideration should be given as to whether or not it is appropriate for him to remain in that role at all even if no violations of RCW 43.88 are found.

I respectfully request that the James Gaudino Incentive Bonus Contract be found null and void under RCW 43.88.130 prohibiting any agency from incurring liabilities in excess of the amounts appropriated for that purpose.   I also request that the State Auditor, pursuant to the provisions of RCW 43.88.160 (6) (d), take exception to the James Gaudino Incentive Bonus Contract. I also request that the Attorney General investigate whether or not civil and or criminal acts occurred in this matter pursuant to RCW 43.88.300 or RCW 43.88.270, respectively.  Finally, in the event that civil or criminal violations by the Board of Trustees are found to have occurred, I request that the Governor petition for the removal of the Trustees pursuant to RCW 28B.10.500.

Sincerely,

Theresa Petrey