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Shelton Mason County Journal
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June 5, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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June 5, 2014
 

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Theler: Center registered as nonprofit twice with state continued from page A-1 "We are keeping the place operating and the staff that were there just like they have been, but it's now a school district operation in the interim," Pe- terson told the Mason County Journal. "We expect that the public won't notice any difference in the operation." The Theler Center's board of direc- tors voluntarily terminated its lease Friday, Peterson said. The North Mason School District owns the Theler Center and wetlands, and has leased them to the Theler Community Center organization, gov- erned by the Theler board, for $1 per year since 2003. Peterson officially informed the cen- ter of the district's intentions in a letter dated May 29. The letter gives several reasons for the district's decision to ter- minate its lease. "The district intends to assert its rights in order to protect the asset that is the Theler Center and related wet- lands," Peterson's letter states. "Un- fortunately, we must do so without the organization." The school district learned two weeks ago from the Washington Secre- tary of State that the Mary E. Theler Community Center organization dis- solved as a corporation in March 2008. The organization also lost its 501(c) (3) status more than two years ago. According to the Secretary of State's Office, a corporation called the "Mary E. Theler Community Center" was reg- istered as a nonprofit corporation and charity starting in 1984, but stopped filing maintenance documents in 2006. The nonprofit corporation was admin- istratively dissolved by the Office of the Secretary of State in 2008. "It should have been dissolved in 2007, but (a) computer glitch was not found until the next year," said Pamela Floyd, director of the corporations and charities division of the Office of the Secretary of State, in an email to the Journal. A nonprofit corporation can be rein- stated within three years by state law, Floyd said in an email. No attempt to reinstate the corpora- tion was made. However, the Theler board filed ar- ticles of incorporation for a new orga- nization under the name "Mary E. The- ler Community Center and Wetlands" with the Secretary of State's office in October 2013 -- the same month the Theler's board of directors discovered alleged embezzlement. The Theler board did not inform the North Mason School District about the 2008 dissolution or the new corpora- tion created in 2013, Peterson told the Journal. Because the Theler Center is not a registered charity, and hasn't been since 2008, it should not be soliciting funds from the public, Floyd wrote. In October, Theler board members learned that the organization had only $6 in its bank account. The board placed its executive director, Anne Whitman, on paid administrative leave, and of- ficially terminated her contract in De- cember. The Mason County Sheriffs Office launched an embezzlement investiga- tion in October. No charges have been filed. In January, with the help of interim executive director Scott Stanton, the Theler board learned that the Theler center organization had not filed fed- eral nonprofit tax forms since 2008 and owed $97,000 to the Federal Depart- ment of the Treasury for back Social Security and Medicare contributions. The center also misplaced $14,000 in contributions from the school district and $10,000 in miscellaneous dona- tions and back payments for utilities. The letter also states that the Theler organization has failed to maintain the property as specified in its lease. In April, the Washington state Au- ditor's Office sent a management let- ter to the North Mason School District, which stated that the district did not adequately monitor contract require- ments for the center. According to the letter, the school district made payments to Theler without supporting documentation and Theler submitted invoices with- out copies of bills or proposed improve- ments. Theler's lease required that the school district approve any "al- terations to assets" of a value greater than $5,000. The auditor's letter also noted that the school district did not approve and review changes to the center's article of incorporation, as is required in the lease. The organization has also violated a 2004 agreement with the district that requires it to seek approval from the school board before amending its arti- cles of incorporation and requires it to keep $750 in tangible assets. Thursday, June 5, 2014 - Mason County Journal - Page A-13 sales service parts special radiocontrolled orders CARS TRUCKS * HELICOPTERS PLANES * BOATS Olympic College Shelton offers: * Classes that transfer to a university .Career training . High School Diploma o GED . English to speakers of Other Language Programs OLYIvlPIC COLLEGE ' Shelton  www olympic edu 360.432.5400 Locker Pa Available 1729 OLYMPIC HWY. N. 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