Ed. Note: In light of Monday’s revelation that Martina Guilfoil, executive director of the Rainier Valley Community Development Fund (CDF), had resigned after it was discovered that she had written a shocking, profanity-laced letter to a local business owner, we asked Board President Joshua Williams to respond to several questions. His answers are below unedited.
How & when did the Board first learn of Ms. Guilfoil’s letter to Ms. Jones?
The full Board learned of the letter on August 12, 2010. I was aware of the letter on November 19, 2009 – but chose not to share it with the full board with an understanding from Martina that it was inexcusable and that the letter was to be destroyed, not shared internally or externally, and she agreed. We were notified by Ms. Jones on August 23rd that it had been anonymously delivered to her business.
How would you characterize the Board’s overall response at that time?
The Board was unanimous in their agreement that it was unacceptable, inexcusable, unprofessional and extremely harmful and that an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding the letter should be undertaken. The Board felt that if there were other instances in which Ms. Guilfoil had acted in a manner that didn’t best serve or represent the Fund, we needed to have that information.
Is it the Board’s position that Ms. Guilfoil did not actually send the letter to Ms. Jones?
This our understanding.
If so, do you have any idea who did?
This is part of the investigation that is not yet completed.
Is the Board aware of any other misconduct by Ms. Guilfoil?
At this point we cannot comment on any other issues with Ms. Guilfoil, as she has resigned her post with our organization and to discuss those matters publicly would not serve the community or the Fund. We can say that Ms. Guilfoil is not believed to have done any legal wrongdoing.
Can you confirm that two other RVCDF staff members are currently on unpaid leave?
Two staff members are on leave.
If so, does their leave have anything to do with Ms. Guilfoil’s letter?
At this point we cannot comment on the leave of our staff since that would violate their privacy.
We can however say that we are assessing the conduct and professionalism of the CDF work-place, including our entire staff and roll of the Board, at this time to ensure that we can move forward with a team of individuals who want to serve the community and have the best interests of the Fund at heart.
According to his RVCDF bio, Joshua Williams serves as Vice President of International Banking and Trade Solutions for Wells Fargo Bank and has been a member of the Board since 2003. He lives with his family in the Mt. Baker neighborhood. Photo/RVCDF