Casa Ruby, the Washington, D.C., LGBTQ+ organization beset by a variety of financial troubles, should be dissolved, and there is also evidence of “potential criminal misconduct” there, says a report from the foundation appointed to be its receiver.
The nonprofit had provided housing and social services to D.C.’s most vulnerable LGBTQ+ residents — youth, transgender people, people of color, and others — since its founding in 2012. However, last year it lost a city grant due to mismanagement of funds. Staff went unpaid and clients unserved, and its founder and executive director, Ruby Corado, has apparently left the country. The group shut down in July.
A D.C. Superior Court judge named the Wanda Alston Foundation receiver for Casa Ruby on the recommendation of the district’s attorney general, Karl Racine. The foundation submitted its first interim report to the court Tuesday, saying, “Casa Ruby should be dissolved in an orderly manner pursuant to D.C. Code,” the Washington Blade reports.
The group has liabilities of more than $2 million, and “other than an assortment of donated furnishings at the two leased properties, there are no other meaningful assets,” the report states.
“Casa Ruby’s landlords and employees had gone unpaid for some time and both sites were abandoned and appeared to have been ransacked,” the foundation notes. “The documents which remained were in complete disarray and would require time to collect, organize, and analyze,” it says.
Most of the important records and files have been removed from one site, 1635 Connecticut Ave. N.W., and that location has been vacated. However, the receiver likely needs more time to examine the documents at the other site, 2033 Connecticut Ave., so the court may need to delay the pending eviction there.
“The Receiver did reach out to the D.C. Attorney General’s Office to advise them of potential criminal misconduct that it had uncovered and to make arrangements for the transfer of items deemed to have a significant potential evidentiary value,” the report notes, adding, “The details of those discussions and arrangements are omitted from this report in the interest of protecting anticipated ongoing criminal investigations.”
The report says the foundation attempted to contact Corado via email, but she did not respond. She has previously denied any wrongdoing. Superior Court Judge Danya A. Dayson has ordered all parties in the case, including Corado, to appear either in person, by phone, or by video, for a hearing September 29, the Blade reports. Dayson “is expected to make the final decision on the fate of Casa Ruby,” according to the paper.