From left, Mr Peter Arth and Ms Ruthe Catolico Ashley
CaliforniaALL, a Section 501(c)(3) charitable entity, came about as a result of a San Francisco restaurant meeting between Ruthe Ashley (a Diversity Officer at CalPERS and Vice President of the State Bar of California) and Peter Arth, Jr., Chief of Staff to CPUC President Michael Peevey. Also present at that meeting was Professor Sarah E. Redfield.
In its brief existence from January 2008 to July 2010, CaliforniaALL collected close to $2 million from various utility companies (AT&T, PG&E, Verizon, Sempra.) In addition, CaliforniaALL obtained a sub rosa contribution of $769,247 from the State Bar of California Foundation (dba California Bar Foundation.)
CaliforniaALL was abruptly dissolved on July 12, 2010. (See Facebook posting, above, and letter from Victor Miramontes, CaliforniaALL Chairman of the Board.)
Other than in Foundation tax records and a 2 by 2 inch blurb in its 2008 annual report, the sub rosa contribution was never mentioned again – not by the State Bar of California, not in the Cal Bar Journal, not in the Foundation’s “newsroom,” and not by any publication published by CaliforniaALL. See above, California Bar Foundation’s Newsroom, which made no mention of the “hush-hush” transfer.
Mr Geoffrey Brown, professor of law at JFK School of Law. Between 2001 to 2007 served as Commissioner with the CPUC. From 2006 to 2009 Brown serve as director with the State Bar of California Foundation (DBA “California Bar Foundation”). In 2008, California Bar Foundation quietly transferred $769,247.00 to CaliforniaALL.(image:courtesy photo)
Extensive research shows that CaliforniaALL awarded grants during its existence only to the U.C. Irvine Foundation.
As we previously mentioned, Leslie Hatamiya — Executive Director of the California Bar Foundation who colluded with Holly Fujie, Ruthe Ashley, and Judy Johnson in order to maintain secrecy over the unlawful transfer of $780,00.00 from California Bar Foundation to CaliforniaALL — has resigned.
Geoffrey Brown, according to confidential sources familiar with the situation, categorically denies any wrongdoing on his part. In reaction to complainant’s request for an inquiry to the State Bar of California Board of Governors (See http://tinyurl.com/californiaallbog ) Brown immediately sent the complainant a cease & desist demand.
In an email to complainant and the Board of Governors, Brown wrote:
“I am named in the email with the purpose of tying my tenure at the CPUC and the Foundation to some alleged nefarious activity. The author of the email is herewith put on notice that I will pursue legal action if he persists in a claim that I have anything to do with illegal activity. He further on notice that I am in noway connected with the recipient named in the article.”
Two noted board members who were with CaliforniaALL from its inception until it was dissolved were James Hsu and Pat Fong-Kushida.
Fong-Kushida is a longtime acquaintance of Ashley, and served as President of the Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce. Fong-Kushida, along with Board of Governors member Gwen Moore, are both members of the California Utilities Diversity Council.
Similarly, James Hsu – a corporate attorney who advises companies regarding off-shore transactions and has a “China Specialty” – was actively involved in efforts to diversify the California workforce by attending CPUC meeting relevant to the matter. Hsu also serves as CAUSE’s treasurer where we have recently observed the profile of Ms Carol Liu.