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Gilbert

Gilbert

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Published by Matt Driscoll

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Published by: Matt Driscoll on Apr 09, 2012
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WashingtonStateExecutiveEthicsBoard
2425BristolCourtSWPOBox40149OLYMPIAWA98504-0149
(360)664-0871Fax(360)586-3955http://www.ethics.wa.gov
PRELIMINARYINVESTIGATIONANDBOARDDETERMINATION
CASENUMBER:DATE:RESPONDENT:EMPLOYINGAGENCY:
09-054July9,2010JorgeGilbertTheEvergreenStateCollege
I.INVESTIGATIONA.BackgroundandSummaryofComplaint
TheExecutiveEthicsBoard(Board)receivedareferralfromtheOfficeoftheStateAuditor(Auditor)allegingthatJorgeGilbert,thenanemployeewiththeEvergreenStateCollege(TESC),mayhavemisappropriatedpublicfunds,enteredintocontractsonbehalfofTESCwithacompanyownedbyhisfamilymembers,receivedfinancialgainfromhispositionwiththecollegeandusedstateresourcestobenefithimselfandhisfamilymembers.TheBoardreviewedthereferralandissuedacomplaintonSeptember11,2009.
B.
ScopeofPreliminaryInvestigationandRelevantFacts
Boardstaffreviewedthereferral,agencyrecords,informationprovidedbyMr.Gilbertandotherdocumentsgatheredduringthepreliminaryinvestigation.BoardstaffinterviewedMaryamJacobs,MichaelClifthomeandLorriMoorefromtheEvergreenStateCollege.Thefactsappeartobeasfollows:1.JorgeGilbertwasafacultymemberattheEvergreenStateCollegebetween1988andDecember2009.Asaninstructor,heofferedcoursesrelatedtoSouthAmericanhistory,politics,economicsandhisprogramsofferedatriptoChileinthespring.2.Mr.Gilbertinitiatedthe"FieldSchooltoChile"programin1995.InDecember,1997,Mr.Gilbertincorporatedanon-profitorganizationwiththeWashingtonSecretaryofState'soffice,UBI601839609,usinghisthenwife,ReneeBourbeau,asthenameoftheagentandhishomeaddressasthe.business'address.TheregistrationforthisorganizationexpiredonDecember12,2008anditwasdissolvedonApril1,2009.ThurstonCountySuperiorCourtdocumentsindicatethatMr.GilbertandMs.Bourbeauobtainedadissolutionofmarriageunderdocket#00-03-00562-9onApril24,2002.3.Forthetimespertinenttothisinvestigation,Mr.GilberttookthefollowingtripstoChilethatwereassociatedwithhisstudiesabroadprogram:Year2005No.Students10
 
EEBCase09-054(JorgeGilbert);PreliminaryInvestigationandBoardDeterminationJuly9,2010Page2
20062007200811notrip154.Mr.Gilbertusedacompanycalled"DISAL"toassisthimwithtravelandlodgingarrangementsinChileforhisFieldSchooltoChileprogram.AccordingtoMr.Gilbert,heselectedDISALbaseduponthehealthandsafetyofhisstudents,theexclusivenessoftheresort(nootherguestsoccupieditatthetimehisstudentswerethere)andthepresenceofsecurityguards.Theresortalsoincludedprohibitionsregardingtheuseofdrugsandalcoholbystudentsandworkedwithstudentdietaryrequirements,includingvegetariandietsthatarenotcommoninChile.5.InformationgatheredfromtheDISALwebsiteandotheron-linesitesindicatethatDISALisprimarilydedicatedtotherental.andsaleofportablechemicaltoilets,hasahomeofficeinSantiago,Chileand25branchesthroughoutChileaswellassubsidiariesinPeruandParaguay.Thereisnoindicationthatthiscompanyprovidesconciergetravelarrangementsoranytypeoflodgingarrangementsforgroupsorothertourists.Companyliteraturestatesthatthecompanybeganin1969whenJosephDieguezMartinezstartedthebusinesswiththeremovalofwastefromcompaniesandsupermarketswiththeaimofusingtheediblewastetofeedpigs.DISALgrewrapidlybetween1987and1989tobecomeanimportantplayerinthesolidwasteremovalmarket.In1981,brothersRaulandVictorDieguezMartinezjoinedthecompanyandbeganevaluatingtheideaofrentingportabletoiletsinChile.In1991thecompanyconsolidatedwiththeincorporationofpartnersCarmenDieguezandSebastianGilbertCeballos.SebastianGilbertCeballosisJorgeGilbert'sbrother.SebastianGilbertCeballosismarriedtoMariaCristinaDieguez,sistertotheDieguezMartinezbrothers.6.InformationregardingDISALindicatedthatMr.Gilbert'sbrother,SebastianGilbertCeballos,isaDirectorwithinDISAL.Mr.Gilbertstatedthatwhilehisbrotherworksinthecompany,hedidnotconsultwithhimregardingfinancialmattersrelatedtohisstudents.However,Mr.Gilbertdidworkdirectlywithhissister-in-law,whoactuallysignedthecontractbetweenMr.GilbertandDISAL.7.OnApril4,2008MariaCristinaDieguez,ProgramCoordinatorforDISAL,andJorgeGilbertsigneda"MemorandumofAgreementbetweenJorgeGilbertandDISAL-Chile"delineatingthatDISALagreedtooperatetheeducationalprogramknowas"FieldSchooltoChile2008"inSantiago,Chile.ThisagreementstatedthatJorgeGilbertwouldprovidetheacademicportionoftheprogramandDISALwasresponsibleformakingallofthein-countrytransportationarrangements,providingroomandboardforstudentsandfacultyfortheperiodofApril5-May5,2008.8.Fortheservicesrenderedperthisagreement,JorgeGilbertwouldpayDISAL$31,500(US),whichincludedroomandboardfor15studentsfor30days,classroomsandtaxesrequiredbyChile;thetotalcostwouldbe$70perstudentperday.Mr.Gilberthadthestudentspayhimdirectlyforthecostofthetrip,whichwas$3,150forthe2008trip,includingthecostoftheplaneticket.Forstudentsmakingtheirownflightarrangements,thecostofthetripwas$2,150.Mr.Gilbertpurchasedticketsforthestudentsfromatravelagentofhischoosing.
 
EEBCase09-054(JorgeGilbert);PreliminaryInvestigationandBoardDeterminationJuly9,2010Page3
9.WhileinSantiago,Chile,thestudentsstayedattheSportsClubOfficialsoftheComptrollerGeneral,aresortapparentlyownedthroughanassociationofemployeesoftheChileangovernment.10.Mr.Gilbertreceived$11,950viaapettycashvoucherfromTESCforprogramandstudentexpensesfortheFieldSchoolinChileprogramin2005;$10,928in2006;and$13,150in2008.Thesefundsweretopayhispersonaltravelexpensesandprovidehimwithperdiemandlodgingwhilehewasabroadforthe30-dayprogram.AccordingtoTESC,instructorswhoreceivefundsforlodgingmustprovidereceiptsalongwiththeirtravelvoucher.Mr.Gilbertdidnotprovideitemizedreceiptsforhispersonallodgingandexpensestovalidatetheexpenditureoffunds.11.AccordingtoTESCAcademicFinancialSupportServicesManager,thecollegecollectsfundsfromthestudentswhowillbetravelingabroad.ThesefundsaredepositedattheEvergreenCashier'sofficeandaremonitoredthroughthecollege'sfinancesystem.Thefacultyinitiatesanagreementwithavendorabroadandtheagreementiswrittenupandsenttothevendorforsignature.TheagreementissupposedtobereturnedtoEvergreenwhere,priortothe2009-2010academicyear,itwassignedbytheVicePresidentforFinanceandAdministration.Thenpaymentismadeaccordingtothetermsoftheagreement;mostoftenthepaymentwasmadeviawiretransferintothevendor'sforeignbankaccount.Inthepast,TESChadallowedthestudentstopaythevendordirectlyassometimesthechargesvarieddependingonwhatthestudentsweredoingoncetheyarrivedintheforeigncountry.Forexample,somemayhavehadhomestayarrangementsandsomemaynotandalsohomestayscouldbechargedatvariousamounts.Occasionallythefacultywoulduseatourcompanytofacilitatethetravelandthestudentswouldpaythetourcompanydirectly.Inthesituationathand,Mr.Gilbertindicatedthatthestudentswouldbepayingthevendordirectlyfortheservicesprovided.Inreality,thestudentspaidMr.Gilbertdirectly,notthevendor.
12.
OnNovember13,2008;TESCcommencedaspecialauditoftheacademictravelprogramsofJorgeGilbertbecause:1)Mr.Gilbertdidnotfollowthecollege'scashhandlingpolicies;2)Mr.Gilbertusedatravelagency,unbeknownsttothecollege,topurchasethestudents'tickets,buttheagencydidnotbuythetickets,insteadthefundswerelostwhentheagencywentbankrupt;and3)Mr.GilbertwouldnotprovidedocumentsandfinancialrecordsrequestedbyanAcademicDean.

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