Operation Kidz Komfort
Why do Council members Hanna and Robinson support an unregistered “Charity” ?
5/5/11 - Operation Kidz Komfort, which holds itself out to be a local “charity”, recently held a fundraiser at the Banning “White House”. Both Banning’s Mayor Barbara Hanna and Council member Don Robinson came out in support and attended the March 19 event. But according to the Attorney General’s website, the organization is not registered as an eligible charity in the State of California. Why is it that wherever you look, Banning Council members can never do anything “above board “?
“OPERATION KIDZ KOMFORT” NEVER HAD CHARITABLE STATUS
In order to engage in fundraising activity, a charitable organization must be recognized by both the Attorney General as well as the IRS, usually as a 501,c,3 non profit organization. While the IRS shows a listing for the organization, a look at the Attorney General’s website (view) reveals that “Operation Kidz Komfort” fails to meet any and all registration requirements. The website shows that the organization has not operated with California charitable status since May of 2009.
Therefore it should not come as a surprise that the organization’s founder, Beaumont resident Shannon Smith, cannot produce a Form 990 charitable tax return for her organization – for any fiscal year.
Operating a “non-profit” without registration by the Attorney General is not only against the law – it is also immoral, particularly in this case, where innocent children are being used to lure in donations. Kidz Komfort’s brochure and website (view) pictures a number of unidentified, sick looking children ; but without public filings, how do we know if any of the money really goes to them ?
Are the kids pictured even from the Pass area ? Without public filings, how do we know that Operation Kidz Komfort is not a covert money laundering operation, set up to benefit its insiders ?
ALLEGATIONS OF EMBEZZLEMENT
Recently allegations have surfaced that insiders at Operation Kidz Komfort have embezzled funds from the organization. According to Beaumont city council member Nancy Gall, board members of the organization have confirmed that a Beaumont Police officer and/or his wife allegedly took $ 2,200 from Kidz Komfort. The officer’s wife is said to have had an executive position at the time.
The officer and his wife allegedly claim that they “needed” the money to pay for tuition of one of their children. Nancy Gall says that she suggested that the organization file a police report, but that Kidz Komfort president Shannon Smith declined to pursue the matter in any way.
INVOLVEMENT OF BARBARA HANNA AND DON ROBINSON RAISES AN IMMEDIATE “RED FLAG”
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, both Mayor Barbara Hanna as well as council member Don Robinson attended the recent Kidz Komfort fundraiser at the Banning “White House”.
As we had already pointed out in a previous article (view), the Banning “White House” operates as a commercial establishment without a valid business license. They do so with full knowledge of the City Council. “White House” director Pamela Scott is good friends with Hanna – see picture on left. Their friendship is reason why compliance is not being enforced.
Given her presence, Mayor Hanna is obviously not the least bit concerned that the White House currently does not meet public safety standards required for commercial operation. Nor does she seem concerned that they also do not meet regulations for handicap access at their facility. In light of these circumstances, what does the in-your-face presence of Mayor Barbara Hanna and Don Robinson at the Banning White House tell us about their ethics and their respect for the law ?
In regards to “Operation Kidz Komfort”, why is it that Mayor Barbara Hanna and Don Robinson are both so attracted to such a questionable organization ? What does this tell us about their (lack of ) character and their judgment ?
Wherever you look, Barbara Hanna and Don Robinson have associated themselves with shady “non-profit” organizations, left and right :
- Both Hanna and Robinson gave over one million dollars in taxpayer funds to the unaccountable Banning Cultural Alliance – with nothing to show for in return. In fact, their dealings were so shady that in 2010 the Riverside County Grand Jury told them to immediately “seize and desist” doing any more business with the Cultural Alliance, (view Grand Jury Report) (more on this story).
- Barbara Hanna is known for her close affiliation with the Boys and Girls Club, a highly questionable organization which has been involved in excessive executive pay scandals, both on the local as well as the national level, (view story).
- Don Robinson is no stranger to the world of corrupt charities either. As executive director of a Palm Springs Charity named “Guide dogs of the Desert” he took center stage in a scandal of epic proportions : Robinson was accused of severe financial improprieties, which even lead to a L.A. Times feature story on the issue (to view the L.A Times article click here ). Furthermore, Don Robinson was accused of sexual harassment by one of the charity’s employees, (click for details). Court records show he settled the case.
We recommend that you do not contribute to any Pass area charity if corrupt Mayor Barbara Hanna , Don Robinson – and also Bob Botts for that matter – are involved in their support. They support Kidz Komfort , yet this is not even a registered charity under California law. They support the Banning “White House”, yet it is operating commercially without a valid business license.
Reminiscent of compulsive crooks, these Banning Council members could not do anything “above board “, even if they tried.