(SHB) – More than 50 people represented Hmong Heritage Preservation Committee (HHPC) protested against Lao Family Community (LFC) of Minnesota on March 14, 2014. The protested took place outside of the Office Building of Lao Family Community of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minnesota.
“The weather was cold and majority of the protestors were elderly…” said Kangyee Vang, News Correspondent for Suab Hmong News.
The protest started from 1:00PM to 4:00PM.
Suab Hmong News covered the protest and had exclusive interviewed with both sides. The exclusive coverage will be broadcasted on March 15, 2014 on the Suab Hmong News Channel on YouTube and later in the week on Hmong Report, on a local TV KBTV 8.1 in Sacramento, CA.
HHPC’s reasons to protest LFC of MN are as below (from HHPC Press Release):
WHEREAS, in 2008, the funding of the LFCM was numbered 3.6 million with several social service programs with 39 staff members; as of March 2014, under the leadership of ChuePheng Lee, the board president LFCM since 2010, the funding and programs were cut off. LFCM is now dead in providing the social service programs;
WHEREAS, ChuPheng Lee and his LFCM board members failed to take their organizational fiduciary duties and responsibilities to provide clients the social services; instead, they have focused on the Hmong two cultural events that they have had upper hands on the monies of the events; in 2010, LFCM failed to account for $89,961.89 from the checking account of the Hmong New Year celebrations;
WHEREAS, in 2012, due to ChuPheng Lee’s leadership failure, financial corruption, and complaints of the Hmong community, the Office of the Attorney General terminated the right of LFCM to host the Hmong two cultural events;
WHEREAS, in 2010, ChuPheng Lee was elected the board president of LFCM by the Hmong community; without public hearing and notification, ChuPheng Lee and his selected board members of LFCM bypassed the voters to establish the Lao Family Foundation (LFF) in 2012 to diverse the Hmong community’s ownership of the Hmong two cultural events to a sole proprietorship of ChuePheng Lee and his LFF trustees, who have owned the two Hmong cultural events for life time since 2012. As such, ChuPheng Lee violated only the very fundamental principle of the majority consent of the voters, but also the Hmong culture, norms, and traditions.
WHEREAS, since the founding of LFF in 2012, ChuePheng Lee and his selected LFCM board members have simultaneously served the offices of the board presidencies and members of both LFCM and LFF—a violation of the nonprofit laws against Conflict of Interests as stipulated by the Minnesota Nonprofit Statute, Chapter 317A;
WHEREAS, in 2012, ChuPheng Lee, who has been unemployed for years, co-opted powerful clan leaders in making a series of “cow” ceremonies for each one of the clan leaders in his brother Toua Lee’s farm in Wisconsin in order to mute their voice of resistance against ChuPheng Lee’s and his trustees’ upper hands on the monies generated from the Hmong two cultural events; Without notification of the Hmong community and the Participating Organizations, the Minnesota Lao Veterans of American, Inc., and the Association for the Advancement of the Hmong Women in Minnesota, Inc., ChuPheng Lee, his board members, and trustees spent Hmong community’s monies of the two events to pay for the cow ceremonies;
WHEREAS, ChuPheng and his board members and trustees refused to peacefully resolve these matters with the Hmong community, under the leadership of the Hmong Heritage Preservation Committee of Minnesota (HHPCM) founded in November 2013.
Lao Family Community of Minnesota responded with a Press Release as below:
Lao Family Community of Minnesota (LFC)
Refutes the False Allegations of the Hmong
Heritage Preservation Committee of Minnesota
St. Paul, MN (March 13, 2014) – Lao Family adamantly denies the baseless allegations raised against it by The Hmong Heritage Preservation Committee of Minnesota. In communications to the Hmong community, The Heritage Preservation Committee accuses Lao Family and its Board of, among other allegations, financial corruption and leadership failure as well as violation of Minnesota nonprofit law. The organization has scheduled a protest to address its alleged grievances.
“The same individuals who unsuccessfully attempted to disrupt LFC’s Hmong New Year Celebration, using the title The Hmong Community United Coalition for Hmong New Year Celebration, have now formed another organization in another attempt to disrupt Lao Family Community and its programs which benefit many within our community,” said ChuPheng Lee, President of Lao Family. “These individuals are upset because the Ramsey County District Court sustained our election and, without any factual basis, continue to make false allegations in an effort to damage our organization. These individuals, now using two separate headings, will stop at nothing to discredit Lao Family Community even though there are no facts to support their allegations.”
Lao Family Community indicates that it is anxious to show the community that it is acting, and will act, with full transparency and clarity, continues to enjoy the support of the community, and will continue to function for the benefit of the entire community.
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