Heidi May Wilson, Senior Manager, Media Relations
Court finds the president “treated the funds of the state association as her personal property”
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Oct. 14, 2022)—In the ongoing litigation in Maryland Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, in the case of National Congress of Parents and Teachers, Inc. v. LaTonya Carrera, et. al, Case No. 486117-V, the Court took the extraordinary step last week of granting National PTA’s request to appoint a Receiver to take control of the former Maryland PTA from Defendant LaTonya Carrera to locate and protect the assets of the former Maryland PTA from further waste. The Court appointed former Federal Prosecutor Seth B. Waxman as Receiver for Maryland PTA, charged with safeguarding the assets of the non-profit and to take over management of the organization. President Carrera and the Board of Directors are now prohibited from having access to the assets of the former Maryland PTA.
In March 2021, National PTA took the extraordinary step to disaffiliate the Maryland PTA from National PTA due to significant issues with board leadership actions. Through disaffiliation and creating an alternative state chapter, Free State PTA, National PTA worked to protect the interests of local PTAs and parents and children throughout Maryland as well as the entire PTA family. Concerns about Carrera had become known to National PTA during the course of National PTA working with the Maryland chapter on compliance with the National PTA Standards of Affiliation. Carrera was previously arrested and has been criminally charged with crimes related to access to the financial accounts of others in the District of Columbia in an unrelated matter.
In granting National PTA’s request for the unusual remedy of appointing a Receiver, the Court stated that “Maryland PTA, largely due to the actions of defendant Carrera (and the corresponding inaction and lack of controls by the Board of Directors of Maryland PTA) had wasted, dissipated and impaired the funds and assets of Maryland PTA to the detriment both of National PTA and the families and students who had paid dues and other funds to Maryland PTA.” During the evidentiary hearing held on Oct. 4, 2022, on National PTA’s request to appoint a Receiver to locate and protect Maryland PTA’s assets, the Court found that Defendant Carrera “used the debit card of the association as her personal credit card, her personal debit card, with no accounting or reconciliation” and “treated the funds of the state association as her personal property.” The Court referred to the evidence it reviewed, stating “it became somewhat painful, the debit card charges that Carrera made on the business, not personal, business debit card.”
The Court authorized the Receiver to “take control of the management and operation of Maryland PTA,” “account for all funds and assets of Maryland PTA,” and “determine whether, and the extent to which, any funds or assets of Maryland PTA have been wasted, dissipated or spent for purposes unrelated to the reasonable and necessary operation of Maryland PTA or for the improper benefit of individuals.” The Court further ordered that Defendants are “prohibited from using, obtaining or accessing any funds or property of Maryland PTA (including, but not limited to, bank or investment accounts, deposit accounts, ATM cards, debit cards and credit cards), without the express written permission of the Receiver.”
National PTA looks forward to resolving the outstanding claims, hopefully without continued litigation, with the Receiver, whose written report is expected in 90 days. National PTA continues to seek to ensure that all assets of the former Maryland PTA, including historical artifacts, and documents as well as property, are used to benefit PTA members in Maryland, and ensure that PTA throughout the country is protected.
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.