By Ted AYALA
The organization that formerly assumed management of the Twelve Oaks senior living facility in La Crescenta slapped its successor with a lawsuit last week. The National Charity League’s (NCL) Glendale chapter filed a suit on Oct. 15 against be.group for having “mismanaged and misused” Twelve Oaks revenues and assets.
The NCL had previously operated Twelve Oaks, transferring the facility to Southern California Presbyterian Homes, now known as be.group, in November 2002. No money exchanged hands during the transfer of ownership.
According to the lawsuit, NCL alleged that be.group violated an agreement that Twelve Oaks exists “solely for charitable purposes” by pursuing the shuttering and sale of the site earlier this year. be.group was also accused of pushing for the sale in order to “keep millions in sale proceeds” for itself. A proposed sale to a Santa Monica developer fell through last month, though the property is still scheduled to be closed.
“Under the charitable trust set up,” the lawsuit reads, “[Twelve Oaks] was deeded solely to be used as a residential care facility for the elderly. [Be.group] is an inappropriate recipient of funds generated from a potential and wrongful sale of the facility.”
It also alleged that meetings that were set to be held by a nine-member board of directors, of which four would comprise of NCL members, were discontinued without any reason before 2004. NCL members were further denied entry onto the board after be.group announced the facility’s closure, saying that they no longer were allowed to serve.
Another allegation listed in the lawsuit pertains to a “management fee” that be.group charged the foundation overseeing Twelve Oaks, which increased from $11,000 in 2002 to $130,373 in 2003, as well as racking up marketing expenses unrelated to the foundation’s charitable objectives.
“Defendants violated and continue to violate the charitable trust,” the document accused.
Dan Hutton, representative of be.group, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
“We’re unable to comment on an ongoing lawsuit,” he said.
Inquiries to the NCL were not returned.