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YWCA official terminated

another resigns

Board approves firing in response to 'substantial allegations' against executive director.

August 06, 2010|By Melanie Hicken, melanie.hicken@latimes.com

GLENDALE — The executive director of the YWCA of Glendale was terminated Wednesday by the organization's Board of Directors — three months after she assumed the position, prompting a board member to resign in protest.

In a special meeting Wednesday evening, the board voted to terminate Jacqueline Jones-Love in response to "substantial allegations" against her, according to interviews and written correspondence from board members.

Jones-Love said she was stunned when board President Valerie Merritt and another board member met with her Thursday morning and told her they had "decided to make a change."

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"It was a complete surprise to me," she said. "I was terminated without any warning. I had been told that I was doing a good job by the board."

She was not given any details on the allegations against her, Jones-Love said, adding that the organization was a difficult workplace to manage.

"At this point, I am looking into my options," she said. "At the minimum, they should have provided me with a list of concerns and an opportunity to correct them."

Merritt would not comment on the allegations made against Jones-Love, but board member Delilah Lanoix-Harris on Thursday resigned her position in protest.

In her resignation letter, Lanoix-Harris said Jones-Love "was clearly denied due process in that the unsubstantiated allegations made against her were neither confirmed, nor was she afforded the opportunity to respond or be heard." Lanoix-Harris did not delineate any of the allegations in her letter.

She also stated that the firing could appear "racially motivated" because Jones-Love is black.

"Being the only 'nay' vote on the motion to terminate her clearly validated the belief that my appeal for basic fairness would fall on other board members' deaf ears," Lanoix-Harris said in the letter.

Merritt denied any allegations of unfair termination or discrimination.

"I can tell you that there were substantial allegations made, that they were investigated and reviewed and this was not a decision lightly taken," Merritt said.

Jones-Love had led the nonprofit since May, replacing Darryl Peters, who served as interim executive director since the resignation of Richard Burrell in January. Burrell had taken over the troubled nonprofit more than six years ago to revamp its finances, but clashed with some staff along the way.

Peters left in June for the top job at the YWCA of San Gabriel Valley, Merritt said.

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