Attorney General Maura Healey has moved to take temporary control of Roxbury Community College’s nonprofit fund-raising foundation after a series of disputes between it and the school led the foundation’s board to resign en masse in February, court documents show.
Healey’s motion, filed last week, would install a temporary director of the Roxbury Community College Foundation.
The foundation controls about $2.5 million in assets, according to Healey’s complaint, filed in Suffolk Superior Court. The attorney general has legal authority to oversee public charities and ensure that charitable funds are used properly.
It is unclear exactly what the college and the foundation fought over. Ronald Crawley, who was president of the foundation board, said in a statement on Monday that the board was subject to false rumors from the college administration and trustees.
College administrators made several attempts over the past few years to control the foundation, the statement said. When the foundation directors tried to maintain its independence, it became subject to allegations that undermined its efforts to work with the school, the statement said. Crawley declined to say what the allegations were about except that they were false.
The foundation tried to operate transparently, the statement said, freely sharing its books with anyone who asked. RCC’s auditor gave the foundation a clean audit, the statement said.
“Irrespective of the needless discord with Roxbury Community College, the foundation board is proud of its service to the foundation and leaves knowing that the foundation was served with utmost care,” the statement said.
Around the time that the foundation’s board resigned, the college’s board of trustees voted to “decertify” the foundation, revoking its authority to raise money on the school’s behalf.
College president Valerie Roberson did not respond to a request for comment Monday. Neither did trustees chairman Gerald Chertavian.
Instead, a spokeswoman for the college sent a statement that said it appreciates the attorney general’s support in appointing a temporary receiver.
“The college is committed to having a strong partnership with our foundation to support the school and our students,” said the statement from spokeswoman Jordan Smock.
Healey’s office is seeking to appoint retired judge Leslie E. Harris as receiver. A judge has not ruled on the motion; a hearing is set for May 10.
Receivership would allow Harris to carry out the foundation’s mission and assume the collective powers of the board of directors. Those include appointing new directors, merging the foundation with another public charity, or dissolving it.Laura Krantz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @laurakrantz.