This is a summary of Evelyn Sample-Oates’ testimony under oath on February 25, 2013. Meaning, the investigation
continues into the $2.1 million (estimated) taken by Barbara A. McKinzie from Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. To be clear, the following is a summary of testimony, not exact quotes except where indicated…and comes from a very, very, very close source to the proceedings. In short, Sample-Oates in her testimony alleges that she was in the dark about the inappropriate nature of the payments until she was made aware by other members of the sorority and wants justice to be done in this matter. Sample-Oates is the former North Atlantic Regional Director for the sorority.
Take the following as you will…
1. Evelyn Sample Oates testified that it is the duty of the Directorate to take steps that are appropriate and in the best interests of the members of the sorority. The Directorate is required to act in the best interests of the members and should seek restitution of any monies that were inappropriately taken or misappropriated from AKA between 2006 and 2010. She also said that any misuse or misappropriation of AKA funds by officers of the organization would be a breach of the Directorate’s duty that is owed to the organization. She stated further that AKA should seek restitution of the misappropriated money from the officer.
2. No documentation was given to support the large sums of
money Barbara McKinzie was paid. The report was all word of mouth. She said she was troubled by the decision to pay the president $250,000 dollars because it was a volunteer position.3. Evelyn said that she abstained from voting for the motion to suspend the Plaintiffs because she felt they should have been sanctioned, not suspended. When asked why they were suspended and not Barbara McKenzie or Julia Brogdon Purnell, she said that the policy was not in effect when BAM filed the suit. She further stated that she was told by the Directorate that Purnell would be treated differently since she was a former president.
4. ESO stated that Glenda Glover was certainly more than capable of doing the job. There was a lot of friction between Glenda and Barbara McKinzie which she thought stifled Glenda from doing a better job. She thought Glenda was fine. Glenda and Barbara did not get along and in her opinion, a lot of the reason they didn’t get along was because Glenda who was a CPA and very experienced, a financial person wanted to dig deep in her job and really dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s and that was something she wasn’t allowed to do because Barbara McKinzie stopped her from doing a lot of things and she thought it caused Glenda’s frustration and it caused friction between Glenda and Barbara.5. She had no reason to doubt the accuracy of the Ragland’s report. She said that she had a brief discussion with Carolyn about the report. She told her how disappointed she was. Carolyn was sympathetic toward her emotions. The conversation was short. It was more to comfort her because she was upset about the report.6. The first time she learned about the large payments to Barbara McKinzie was when different people told her in the summer. When they first came out about the checks that were written. They were in the newspaper and August of ’09 was when they first came out publicly and they were on the Weeping Ivy. That’s when she got wind of it. The Directorate knew nothing about the checks. She called some of her fellow regional directors to find out if they knew and they said “no.”
7. She did not see the letters that Carolyn House Stewart sent to
Barbara McKinzie but she was aware that the letters would be sent. They had a vote to suspend Barbara McKinzie and she voted NO along with Gisele Casanova. She voted NO because she didn’t think that Barbara McKinzie should have been the only one suspended. She didn’t write these checks to herself and sign them. Other people should be involved in it. She thought it was premature.8. Evelyn was shown Carolyn’s letter to Barbara asking her to pay the money back. She said that the Directorate only voted to suspend Barbara. They never voted for her to pay the money back. However, she believes that Barbara should pay the money back. She thinks the organization as a whole wants the money back.9. Evelyn was told that Barbara McKinzie testified that she was a former president and a lifetime member of the Boule and could not be suspended. Evelyn was asked if she agreed with Barbara and she said NO. I’m a lifetime member. I’m sorry, I don’t agree with that.10. She said that the Directorate was told by the national president that a special committee was appointed to examine Barbara’s use of AKA funds. Evelyn does not know who is on the committee and what their timeline is because Carolyn has not shared that information with them.11. She was asked about the forensic audit that Carolyn House Stewart commissioned. She did not know if it was completed because Carolyn will not share the report with the Directorate.12. The suspension letters to the 8 plaintiffs were written by the attorney. The language in the suspension letter was no her own. The two reasons for the suspension are the Weeping Ivy website and the filing of the lawsuit. Barbara McKinzie brought the discussion to the Directorate and a motion was put on the floor. Evelyn abstained because it was a former regional director from her region and three of the members were in her chapter. She didn’t believe they should be suspended. When asked about the paragraph in the letter that says, “Moreover, it has long been the policy of the sorority to suspend any member who initiates and maintains litigation against the sorority without having first exhausted her options under the sorority’s established policies and procedures.” When asked if this was her understanding, Evelyn said, “Yes.” When asked where was the policy contained. Evelyn said, “In the Manual of Standard Procedures. However, we were told that it had gotten lost in the transcribing and it was no longer there at the time. But we voted to put the language back in.” She was asked if the language was in the current version of the Manual of Standard Procedure she said, “NO. We were told that it would come out in our next edition because it’s so costly to reprint them for just one or two policies, so we were told that it would come out in the next one. But it is in the minutes, it’s available for all members.”13. When asked how would a member know in 2009 that she would be suspended for filing a lawsuit against AKA if it was not contained in the Constitution, the Bylaws or the Manual of Standard Procedures. Evelyn said, “Well, I mean, we have a process to follow, which is in our Constitution and Bylaws. If you don’t follow a process, then you are violating our documents.” It was pointed out that Barbara McKinzie and other sorors sued the sorority and were never suspended. She was asked, why were these eight individual members treated differently? She said, “I can’t answer that. It was a vote brought up by the Directorate and that’s what they did.
14. Evelyn said that in her twenty plus years in the sorority she had not seen the “long-standing rule” in any of the sorority documents.15. Evelyn was asked how she was chosen by Joy Daley to be Cluster Coordinator, she said, ”I think that she may have gotten a recommendation from some source to choose me. I think somebody may have recommended me to her. She came to Philadelphia and attended an event, a big fundraiser event we had here in Philadelphia called Philly’s Men Are Cooking. I was president of the chapter. I think she got to see some of my leadership style and got to know me as a person. So I think because of that, and because some people that she was close to here, I told them I was interested in the position and they may have recommended me to her.”16. When asked, during the time Joy Daley was Regional Director in your region, did you feel she performed her job well? Evelyn said, “Yes.” Did you attend the the regional conferences that Joy Daley was responsible for putting on? Evelyn said, “Yes.” Did you feel those conferences were well organized and well run? Evelyn said, “Yes.”
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