ACAP BOARD VOTES TO DISSOLVE GROUP STRUGGLING IN DEBT; SUPERVISOR MILEY APPOINT HIS REPLACEMENT.
By Steven Tavares
ACAP’s precipitous fall has been swift and without pause. Whispers of its dissolution were already broached Feb. 23 by representatives from Albany, Emeryville and Union City claiming their respective cities reaped little or no benefit from ACAP and protested paying equal shares with bigger locales like Hayward and San Leandro to bail it out. Less than two weeks later, the program is gone without anybody to blame but its disgraced former executive director Nanette Dillard and her husband Paul Daniels, who was employed as a grant writer. The couple has been alleged to have been caught on video ransacking their offices on the night the ACAP board dismissed them.
At the forefront on ACAP’s demise and potentially unscrupulous involvement is Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley. The current president of the board, according to a county staff report, will appoint Supervisor Scott Haggerty to replace himself on the ACAP board as it passes through its final days. Miley will be demoted to alternate. His connection to ACAP runs deeper than the 10 years he has sat on the board representing the county. Miley’s daughter also works for ACAP. Her employment and genuine interest in the issue allowed Miley a far greater insight into the program and its fall from grace, according to some officials. Miley, who represents areas mostly comprised of Castro Valley, has been quite forthright in answering critics about his involvement in ACAP, although, a bit too much, at times.
During the Feb. 23 ACAP meeting, Miley said he had known of the program’s money troubles for awhile and offering he had a fondness for Dillard and attempting to help her on numerous occasions to fix its structural problems. During a supervisor’s meeting a week earlier, Miley said a consultant had described ACAP’s situations in detail to him. The consultant told Miley if something is not done soon “it could go off the cliff.”
If a consultant told Miley of ACAP imminent demise, he failed to tell the other 12 representatives of the board, according the their prevailing opinion. Many members said they were caught flat-footed by its recent woes. Newly-appointed Chair and San Leandro Councilwoman Diana Souza has said news of ACAP’s inability to pay its employees in mid-February was a surprise. Days later she asked the county supervisors for a $321,000 loan, only to be rebuffed. A few days later, the supervisors offered to loan ACAP $75,000 to pay its employees for February.
Miley described himself as going out on a limb for ACAP by twisting arms on the board of supervisors to support the loan. At one point, threatening the ACAP board to cooperate with the county to pay back taxpayers. How the county will recoup its loans from ACAP is unknown at this time. In the meantime, numerous local non-profits—already struggling—will have to make due without services from ACAP. The burden on those barely surviving will also extend to dozens of employees who now ironically need to fend for themselves with thousans of others on the unemployment line.