By Rebecca LaFlure
Killeen Daily Herald
After a tumultuous Centex Humane Society meeting Thursday night, President George Grammas denied allegations that he withheld financial documents and endangered animals.
Grammas said he was shocked when a group of outspoken members, volunteers and employees confronted him, claiming the longtime president refused to show financial records for more than $100,000 donated after the Nov. 1 blaze at Second Chance Animal Shelter that killed 99 cats and 12 dogs.
Members voted not to nominate him for a sixth term after the allegations were made.
"I didn't expect that," Grammas said Friday. "I'm less worried about me and more worried about the effect this is going to have on the animals. … It's not in the best interest of the Humane Society."
Darryl Breedlove, a volunteer, stood up during a scheduled Humane Society meeting to nominate new members, and charged that Grammas mishandled the society's donations and violated state animal cruelty laws.
Breedlove, after growing suspicious of Grammas' financial practices, wrote a letter Jan. 14 requesting to view the shelter's financial books. He said on Jan. 21 Grammas responded and refused to hand over the records. Breedlove and several of his supporters also spoke out against what they said were deplorable living conditions at the Second Chance Animal Shelter.
A letter sent to Breedlove from a secretary in the society Jan. 21 said, "Please be advised that you were never informed by Mr. G. Gammas that the records are private. He requested that you submit your request in writing stating the purpose of the request as required by governing statute."
The letter went on to say that the financial statements for November and December had not been completed, but would be made available as soon as they were done.
"It was totally malicious. I'm really hurt by all that," Grammas said. "All reports have been available to members and board members. All you have to do is ask."
Grammas insisted the backlash was a result of personal grievances Breedlove had against him and disgruntled workers who've worked long hours in adverse conditions since the fire.
"He had an agenda, which was to air his grievance, and he used it inappropriately at the forum," Grammas said.
'Not hiding anything'
Grammas said financial reports are provided to board members each month and he keeps detailed records of where money is spent.
"We're not hiding anything," he said. "We've been spending this money and he's been doing part of the spending."
Based on preliminary November and December financial documents provided by Grammas, the society received $136,000 in donations, and has currently spent close to $40,000 to repair the facility.
Grammas said much of the money has helped aid the society's declining revenue since the shelter can't take in and adopt out the number of animals it did before the fire.
Breedlove charged that dogs are kept in small kennels on top of sand from 12 to 17 hours a day.
Grammas said the society is working to improve conditions for the animals. He admitted some animals are kept on sand, which does not meet state standards.
"We have to remedy that, and put another type of flooring like concrete," he said.
Breedlove said Friday that he stands by the allegations he made against Grammas Thursday.
"He says it's a grievance. Well it is," Breedlove said Friday. "There are a lot of concerns."
Dieter Weiss, a board member, said he was "absolutely disgusted" by Thursday's events, and said it was an attempt by Grammas' opponents to get him out of office.
"George is a leader. The man has a bleeding heart for animals," he said. "I'd trust George with my checkbook."
Despite the outcry against him, Grammas said he will continue to work with the Humane Society.
"I intend to stay active for many years to come. No question," he said. "I can handle the pressure."
Contact Rebecca LaFlure at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7548. Follow her on Twitter at KDHeducation.