I reported last week that Planned Parenthood Federation of America is cutting ties as of September 3 with Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, which operates 7 clinics in the San Francisco area.

Well, the backstory is getting juicier as reporters investigate federal and state documents (or lack thereof), and former employees begin to leak information and internal documents to the press. The latest Bay Citizen piece provides the most details, while the San Francisco Examiner puts it all in a nutshell:

PPGG has been thrown under the bridge. Past donors included celebrities like feminist Gloria Steinem (pictured right with former PPGG president and CEO Dian Harrison) and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile (pictured on page 2, left with Harrison). But tax documents reveal that for the year ending June 30, 2009 PPGG lost as much as $2.8 million. Interim CEO Therese Wilson admits her group is in a “desperate financial circumstance.”…

The charitable trusts division of CA’s attorney general’s office said it had not received reports from the PPGG Action Fund for at least 10 years, warning that if the organization failed to file the required forms within 30 days, its registration would be suspended and its officers would be held personally liable for all late fees.

More dirt from San Francisco Bay Guardian:

A former PPGG employee with knowledge of the organization’s internal affairs described a longstanding pattern of financial mismanagement when… Harrison was at the helm. There was widespread concern about spending on expensive marketing campaigns and lavish functions, the person said, and a high level of employee turnover and discontent.

An internal PPGG document provided to the Guardian displays the agency’s on-hand cash reserves as compared with other affiliates, suggesting that the reserve ratios were at or below the minimum required by the national PP Federation for all but one year from 1998 to 2007 – and well below that of other affiliates of similar size. That is a key requirement for meeting accreditation standards.

If Harrison looks familiar, it’s because she was the inspiration for the heroine Dioanysus in PPGG’s ill-conceived 2005 viral cartoon, “A superhero for choice.”

Back to more dirt via Bay Citizen:

On October 21, 2008, 30 clinicians and doctors who work for PPGG sent a “letter of concern” to Harrison. The letter was also copied to Cecile Richards, the president of PPFA, and other executives at the national organization.

In the letter, the clinicians detail a myriad of problems in the organization, including their concerns about “the misappropriation and mismanagement of PPGG’s funds.” The letter accuses the executive staff of profligate spending during lean times:

… Executive staff’s personal expenditures are excessive and are not aligned with the mandatory fiscal restrictions. Flagrant use of PPGG funds to pay for personal belongings, personal services and exorbitant technology products is seemingly unchallenged and not subject to the same financial scrutiny that clinic supplies and staff salaries are, for example.

If PPGG’s finances were crumbling from 1998 onward, Harrison’s decision to remodel the Oakland mill, which I reported last year, becomes inexplicable. Here’s video from the architect.

Actually, PPGG went on a remodeling spree during the early 2000s, as evidenced by the numerous awards its obviously pricey architect Fougeron received during that time…
One last item to watch. PPGG was one of the CA PP affiliates named in the massive fraud lawsuit filed by former employee P. Victor Gonzalez. In July the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated that case, so it is still live. Who knows if PPFA has further knowledge of that case and thought this another reason why to cut PPGG lose.

[Photos via PPGG]

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