March 3, 2020
Dear ICAN Donors:
We the Board, write to you today regarding recent developments affecting our organization. In late October 2019, the Board discovered that Mychel Pendley Hefner, the former treasurer, had misappropriated ICAN funds. The Board discovered this misappropriation through due diligence relating to Ms. Hefner’s conduct as treasurer. The misappropriation of funds was subsequently confirmed by a confession from Ms. Hefner. The Board immediately removed Ms. Hefner from the treasurer position and began an investigation into the misappropriation. After extensive analysis, the Board determined that Ms. Hefner misappropriated at least $26,119.07 spanning the years of 2016-2019. Thus far, approximately $7,979 of these misappropriated funds have been returned. Also, any financial impacts to local chapter accounts have been remedied.
Ms. Hefner’s conduct is a deep betrayal of trust to our mission. In response, the Board took a number of immediate and protective steps including removing Ms. Hefner’s access to ICAN funds, bank accounts, and credit cards, conducting an internal investigation, and reporting the results of that investigation to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, the county where Ms. Hefner resides. The Sheriff’s Office arrested Ms. Hefner on February 11, 2020 and she was arraigned on February 12, 2020. That legal action is ongoing.
The Board has also taken steps to prevent similar incidents in the future. The Board has adopted improvements to its Financial Policy, and is adopting improvements to the Bylaws. These changes will increase the rigor of spending approval and oversight.
We write to you today in the interest of transparency and to honor ICAN’s values as an organization. If you have questions, please contact BoardQuestions@ican-online.org.
We will continue to monitor this situation and work on protecting ICAN’s future. We hope to work together for a stronger ICAN.
ICAN Board of Directors