Complaint Against IEEE Rochester Section Officers to the Attorney General of New York

April 25, 2013

1.) My Contact Information:

Name: James Ziobro
Address: 4 Brook Valley Drive, Rochester, NY 14624
Phone: 585-889-5316

Email: james@ziobro.info

2.) Complaint directed at:

Organization Name: IEEE
Organization Address: 3 Park Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10016-5997 USA
Phone: +1 212 419 7900

Email: please see attached list.  Suggest correspondence to President and Compliance Officer

Original included spreadsheet of contact info

 

The IEEE is a large Not-for-Profit Corporation chartered in NY.  The governance is in levels:

1.       Institute ~250,000 members

2.       Region ~30,000 members

3.       Section ~1,000 members

3.) Details of complaint

The Rochester Section installed new officers for 2013 in a procedure that differed materially from those specified in the organization's Bylaws.  It has two legal ramifications:

1.       It constitutes fraud in a Not-for-Profit 501c3 Corporation

2.       It denies paying Members (Consumers) of the organization their just opportunities.  I.e., the Bylaws of the corporation form a contract and by not following the Bylaws the IEEE is violating the contact.

See attached document: "issues.doc"

In summary the volunteer management violated multiple points of the Bylaws.  They made a concerted effort to limit involvement by the general membership.  They published materially misleading statements (via US Mail) to their membership to cover their violations.

The employees of the IEEE who are charged with monitoring Section compliance agree that the Rochester Section did not follow Bylaws.  They take no stand as whether any NY Law was violated.  The person who had prevented prompt corrective action is Region Director, Peter Eckstein.

As of April 24th the IEEE Vice President Ralph Ford issued a statement that confirmed the allegations were true.  However, he failed to order immediate legal elections.

Financial Motives

The various IEEE position come with perquisites.

The Area Chair is eligible for international travel opportunities.

The Section Chair has authority over ~$200K of IEEE assets.  The position can both authorize and disburse funds.  That gives the position great clout.

The Section recently allocated $5000 to enable Paul Lee and others he selected to travel to Niagara Falls for dinner.  Alone this allocation is completely legal.  In view of the illegal activity that followed it appears to be a bribe.

How Can the Attorney General's Office Help?

The IEEE Rochester Section controls ~$200K in IEEE assets.  The financial dealings are hidden from the members at large.  A very small group now authorizes, disburses, and audits the finances.  While it is being mismanaged and operated unethically the greatest concern is the conditions are ripe for a major financial breakdown.

As a consumer complaint the IEEE dues range from $32 to $185 and those who hold office invest additional time.  However there are valuable networking opportunities and perquisites that come with some offices.  The perquisites can be much more valuable than the dues.  The illegal activity of the Officers of the Rochester Section and the delay by region Director Eckstein denied the ~1000 voting members of the Rochester Section a chance at office.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this complaint.  The mere hint that someone is watching will be most helpful.  I request that you compel the organization to hold legal elections immediately.

 

4.) I have attached a note "AwardsChair.txt " from Section Chair Fowlkes which shows the Newsletter omission was intentional.  All relevant documents are available publically on the web.  See attached issues.doc for pointers

5.) The IEEE investigated and validated the complaint.  However, they failed to order immediate legal elections.

6.) No other agency has been notified

7.) No court action is pending or currently planned.

8.) Several past officers have expressed concern with the operation of the Rochester Section.  However, they can provide no additional information for this complaint.

9.) Feel free to distribute this complaint as you see fit.

10.) All the information in this complaint has already been shared with the IEEE and I consider it public.  Please respect the privacy of the email addresses in public posts. You have my consent to use my name and address publically.  I am a current volunteer for the IEEE in other capacities and served as Rochester Section Chair in 2000 and Area Chair 2002-2003.