David Rice, the longtime president and director of the multi-million-dollar-funded Tri-Valley Community Foundation, was fired Monday after an independent audit found discrepancies in the organization's finances and reserves.
Ron Hyde, chairman of the Foundation's board of directors, was named chief executive and president. A former Alameda County Superior Court judge, Hyde has long been active in both the Foundation's charitable giving work and in other charities and philanthropies throughout the region.
"The board did an independent audit of expenses and other items," Hyde said. "Unfortunately, we found that there were a number of contracts and expenditures made that weren't properly cleared by the board and which we knew nothing about and never approved."
"So, after a lot of discussion, we decided it would be in the best interest of the board to maintain its integrity and to keep the ship afloat, which we are doing, and to let Dave go."
Hyde said funds committed by the Foundation are in tact, including $150,000 raised in the November-January Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund.
In fact, Rice was scheduled to help Weekly's management in passing out the checks Thursday at a luncheon sponsored by the Rotary Club of Pleasanton. The nine beneficiaries that will receive the contributions are:
Axis Community Health, Hope Hospice, Open Heart Kitchen, Pleasanton Partnerships in Education (PPIE) Foundation, Sandra J. Wing Healing Therapies Foundation, Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley, Tri-Valley REACH. Valley Humane Society and the ValleyCare Foundation for Ryan Comer Cancer Resource Center.
Rice is credited with building the Tri-Valley Community Foundation into the most enduring organized philanthropy in the Valley. It serves as the catalyst for meeting increasing needs for financial assistance to local charities and for the development and operation of programs that are directly helping those in need.
Hyde said that work will continue uninterrupted by the change in executives.
In recent weeks, two others also have left the Foundation, although neither because of the organization's financial discrepancies. They are Melodie Lane, who was in charge of fundraising events and promotions, and Suzanne Lawless, a doctorate-degreed researcher.