Post on Lymebusters from Dr Greg Smith, Medical Director of the Morgellons Research Foundation 8/2/2006, around 10 or 11 PM, PDT :
It is with heavy heart that I write this note. I have been associated with the Morgellons Research Foundation as a member of the board of directors and Medical Director for almost two years. What has come to pass has saddened and troubled me. I am especially upset that I recently posted a note on Lymebusters asking Morgellons patients and their family and friends to donate to the MRF. It was, and still could be, an exciting time for all of us with this disease.
` Unfortunately, several events over the last month have disturbed me to the point I must retract my previous letter asking for donations to the Morgellons Research Foundation. I ask that you do not donate to the MRF. Instead, donate directly to Oklahoma State University to help fund the research being done by Randy Wymore.
I make this request because I cannot assure you the money you donate would be used appropriately in the fight to understand and conquer this disease.
My wife, Judy, had agreed to become Treasurer for the foundation. We decided it would be prudent to review the financial records and bank statements of MRF before she accepted that responsibility. I felt this was important to protect ourselves and to become familiar with the accounting system being used.
Mary Leitao has thus far not allowed me to see those documents! She said the MRF attorney was revising the by-laws and she would forward when completed. But I could see no reason she should not be able to send the financial information.
As I cannot review the documents, I cannot say that donations to MRF are being used appropriately to investigate the bizarre disease from which we suffer!
Another major concern I have is the apparent lack of desire by Mary and a few others on the Morgellons Research Foundation board to structure the foundation on a more business-like model! Even though MRF has been incorporated and has a board of directors, the decisions of the board seem unimportant to those individuals who have been with MRF the longest. Specifically, Mary, Doug Buckner, and Ken Cowles have recently made decisions which were in opposition to the direction and majority votes of the board of directors or which should have been made by the board.
I have served on a number of boards of non-profit organizations. This is the first time I have felt the board was only a formality and business decisions were made by individuals such as the Executive Director regardless of the board decisions and votes.
I found to my amazement that Mary seemed to expect all board members to agree with her and rubber stamp her decisions. When I disagreed with her, she became upset and angry. The adolescent “drama’ which has ensued has been emotionally draining. Worse, that energy would be better spent trying to understand this disease and educate the public and the medical community about it.
This is not the first time I have experienced the emotional and, to me, rather irrational response Mary has exhibited when someone affiliated with MRF disagreed with her. It is tragic that Mary reacts in that manner, as she now seems to view me and some others at MRF as her enemies. Yet I had been her staunch supporter and will always feel a debt of gratitude to her. MRF was a beacon of light and sanity for me early in my Morgellons journey!
Personally, I remain committed to doing everything I can to further our common goals! But I cannot expend my energy on peripheral, emotional issues. I do not know if I will be welcome at the MRF in the future. Nor do I know if I even am willing to again be associated with the foundation. But I remain committed to “the good fight” for my health, my wife, and all Morgellons patients.
I wish to emphasize I have no evidence of wrong-doing by anyone at MRF. But since I was not permitted to review the financial records (which felt very, very odd!), I cannot in good faith ask anyone to contribute to the foundation.
My best and warmest regards to you all! Remember: FORTITUDE!
(Gregory V. Smith, MD, FAAP)
Post from Cliff Mickleson, also emailed to me:
New and alarming reports have recently begun to circulate concerning financial irregularities and mismanagement of funds at the Morgellons Research Foundation.
The emerging potential scandal and its attendant controversy is currently focused on alleged malfeasance of office and misappropriation of donated funds by MRF founder and Executive Director, Mary Lieto.
According to sources close to Board Chairman Charles Holman, Ms. Leito has consistently refused to produce financial records or to account for a large number of donations bequeathed to the foundation by donors.
This, despite repeated requests by Board members,
The missing financial records being sought cover a span of several years.
“We are doing all that we can to account for the donations made to this organization” Says Holman:
“Unfortunately, Ms. Leito is not cooperating in this effort to provide accountability to the public who’s trust she was charged with.”
Mr. Holman’s office reports that they are extremely concerned that they have been unable to recover any record of donations personally received by Ms. Lieto for the year of 2004.
Board members are also seeking access to financial records for subsequent years including, and up to, year 2006.
According to MRF Board members who have been contacted concerning this issue, no records whatsoever have been released for public examination by Ms. Lieto.
“She has consistently refused to return phone calls made to her by Board officers,” reports Dr. Greg Smith, another member of the MRF Board of Directors.
“She also has refused all pertinent information requested by the Foundation’s Treasurer” He added.
A spokesman for several of the officers of the Board of the Morgellons Foundation relates that an official IRS investigation of potential civil and criminal activities on the part of the executive Director and Founder Mary Leito and several others, may soon be under way.
Both these posts were deleted from Lymebusters, reposted and deleted again. Other members of the MRF commented
Hey, there, Cliff..!
Hope your post can stay up (this time)….
Charles E. Holman
Cliff, you are right on the money with this one! Thanks for posting and for making public what should have been made public long ago.
Folks, if any of you are making donations…sending it to OSU is the safest bet until the MRF is audited and forced to be lily white.
What’s sad is that they have to be forced!
Yep, it’s time to call Uncle Vinny! Not only are the financial records not being produced…They also seem to have turned on the medical people..the people that have helped them the most.
They have turned on me for encouraging folks to donate to OSU. Weird, huh?