So Plaintiff Attorney Jill Clark finished her questions on a theme about money to developers, and Jerry's desire for "the community" to get the money.
(Just call him Jerry I-Am-The-Community Moore)
Now it was time for Defense Attorney David Schooler to get his hooks into Jerry on cross examination.
Schooler first asked Jerry Moore if he'd had conversations with Ben Myers about this case. Moore said he'd not had "regular" conversations with Ben Myers...an incredible statement, in light of the circumstances. From the very first pitch, this was looking like the World Series of lies. Could there be, I wondered, any negative spiritual consequences for merely being in the SAME ROOM as such blatant bearing of false witness? Pray God doesn't get casual with His aim, I thought.
Schooler held up the alleged and purported "Jerry Moore employment contract" (copy) which turned up oh-so-recently.
"Why didn't you provide this contract to the board after your termination?" Schooler asked, but getting a straight answer out of Jerry is like wrestling a stripper in a tub full of Crisco, only not as fun.
Did this contract ever come to the full board? Schooler asked. Anything in the meeting minutes? WHERE WOULD WE FIND THESE MINUTES? (Clearly, an allusion to the missing records and computer equipment whisked away in the dead of night from the JACC office)
Jerry said he didn't know.
Schooler asked about Jerry's application for unemployment compensation.
"This contract was never introduced into evidence," Schooler said.
Through his questions, Schooler pointed out there was stuff in the (alleged and purported) employment contract about malfeasance, breach of duties, moral turpitude. Schooler pressed Moore about the fisticuffs "fracas" on JACC's election night for the board of directors, and Jerry's ability to "retreat" from the confrontation instead of--oh, gee--punching board member P.J. Hubbard full in the face.
This might be a good point to talk about the legal "duty to retreat." This principal of law seems to come as quite a surprise to streetwise individuals who think they have a right to punch somebody over getting "dissed" or being "stepped to." Guess what your legal duty is? TO RETREAT. To not mix it up with bare knuckles. TO BEAT FEET.
Jerry Moore tried to make a claim his "back" had been "against the wall." I had to wonder how, in that case, Jordan resident Denny Wagner managed to pat Jerry on the back. Does Wagner have OCCULT POWERS TO REACH THROUGH SOLID MATTER?
Though Jerry tried slipping and sliding, it's pretty hard to find a defensible position in punching one of your board of directors members full in the face. HELLO moral turpitude.
Schooler then scored a few easy points by putting a document in front of Jerry Moore dated January 15, 2009. A letter, affidavit of service, notifying Moore he was fired. Schooler asked how could Moore claim he hadn't received notice until the end of January when this document existed? Moore tried to say something about the notice not being proper or adequate because the document "lacks explanation of misconduct."
In an exchange shortly after that, Moore clarified that he didn't tell Kip Browne that he--Kip Browne--likes to kiss the white man's ass. No, rather, Moore just told Browne he should do things for the community rather than "kissing ass."
Schooler said Browne was Moore's boss, and yet Moore had made this statement about Browne "kissing ass?" There was talk by Moore about Browne bringing up the "wrong issues" at a meeting and then--to my shock and appalled amazement--Moore said it "wasn't Browne's place" to bring up those issues at that particular meeting.
Wasn't. Browne's. Place.
I thought about how there was...
...chilled sauvignon blanc in my fridge right about now. I thought how I'd like to drink the entire bottle, and not bother with a glass, because you just have to wash the glass and so drinking from the bottle is more environmentalist...but mostly I just felt like drinking an entire bottle of something, then and there.
Wasn't. Browne's. Place.
I turned to Melony Michaels--the wife of identity theft victim John Foster, whose name was entangled with the fraudulent 1564 Hillside Ave. N. deal, with which J.L. Moore Consulting was (according to the criminal complaint) involved--and I asked for her assessment of Moore.
Melony Michaels (who reportedly has worked as a police psychic) wrote her assessment of Jerry Moore on a notecard and handed it to me.
All flash. No soul underneath. If he had bad teeth and clothes, you'd see the thug beneath the exterior, clear as day.
That was about where things left off until the next day of court, when the grilling continued. What a night it must have been for Moore, knowing he was going to wake up, go to court, and face that intense grilling again. Moore must have been rolling and dripping moisture like a rotisseirie chicken.
Incredibly, Moore wore WHITE PANTS the next day.
Call me a worrywart, but personally...I wouldn't have worn white pants on the stand during vigorous cross examination. Besides, isn't there some kind of rule about not wearing white outfits except between Memorial Day and Labor Day?
No, really, somebody informed me of this. And I'm all about community standards, here. Except I do think it's more environmentally friendly to drink wine directly from a bottle instead of using a glass. I'm determined to be a trend setter in this way, no matter how many bottles it may take for the trend to catch on.
Schooler proceeded to ask Moore what was JACC's mission? Moore said something about JACC being kind of like a chicken coop full of monetary metaphorical poultry, and himself being extremely FOXY.
Or not. Actually Jerry Moore said JACC's mission is to bring in resources for the Jordan neighborhood, and to be involved in public policy changes.
Schooler then asked about the "industrywide standard for administrative expenses versus program costs." Moore answered the "high end" is 20 percent. When asked about the exact numbers for JACC program costs, under his reign as Executive Director, Jerry Moore said "I don't have the exact numbers for program costs..."
Schooler began throwing around figures about how much money flows through JACC.
"If $230,000 a year went through there, $500,000 while you were Executive Director..."
"$400,000," Moore said, quickly.
Fair enough, Schooler said, let's use that figure. How much went to program costs?
Moore thought 50 or 60 percent, but he's not sure.
"So that would be 40 to 50 percent going to administrative costs?" Schooler asked.
Even though Moore had just thrown out the figure of "50 or 60 percent" to program costs, he wasn't willing to concede the remaining 40 to 50 percent was administrative costs. It is said figures don't lie, but liars can figure. However, sometimes liars can't figure at all. Case in point.
Using Jerry's figure--as much as he could wrestle that greased up metaphorical stripper into submission--Schooler said, "That puts your administrative costs significantly over the industrywide average."
Moore went into an argument about how every neighborhood is different, has different needs.
"Would it surprise you," Schooler asked. "That the administrative costs under the Myers board were 91 percent?"
Moore argued 91 percent was just NRP funds, which were intended to cover stuff like administrative costs.
Score one for Moore, I thought. FOR NOW.
Schooler then got Moore to admit, on the stand, he doesn't have a four year college degree. There were exhalations from members of the New Majority, watching in the stands. For years they'd gone round and round about this issue and been unable to get satisfying answers. Now Moore casually admitted he was running a neighborhood organization with somewhere near a half million dollar budget, his resume slightly better than a fry cook. Moore did try to say something about his "experience with non-profits" being credited in the hiring process. I wondered if he meant the "shoe shack" which was supposedly raising money for youth.
In response to a question by Schooler, Moore admitted he was responsible for "paying the bills." Schooler asked if the Executive Director of JACC must "conduct himself in a manner befitting a neighborhood organization."
"What does that mean?" Moore asked.
"What does it mean TO YOU?" Schooler countered.
Schooler asked about not wasting funds. He asked about how there were several months where "pre-budgeted bills" were not paid to the gas company. Was any ARRANGEMENT made with the gas company? Moore had to admit none was made.
"So as far as the gas company knew, the bill was just late?" Schooler asked.
Moore confirmed that was pretty much the case.
"He never missed a paycheck, though," Anne McCandless hissed in my ear.
Schooler asked about Moore's expenditure of JACC monies to subscribe the JACC office to "premium movie channels including HBO and Starz." Moore contended there was some kind of "package deal," and he'd taken the cheapest package, and it was a really good package, but it was the cheapest at $99 a month than deals for phone and internet alone. Moore claimed his decision to subscribe the office to HBO and Starz saved $40 a month.
Schooler said something about how Moore didn't pay the GAS BILL monthly, but he always got the Blackberry bill paid, didn't he? Schooler asked where the Blackberry is NOW. Moore said he didn't know. It had been at the office, so it's probably with the "office stuff." Moore contended there were "two Blackberries," one of which was his own personal Blackberry and the other was "the one that's in the office all the time, the one that Ken Wilson had."
Schooler asked about money spent on meals. Blondie's in Brooklyn Park. Perkins in Eagan. The American Inn of Brooklyn Center. Moore said something about putting a guy up at the American Inn who had been involved in some kind of domestic incident, a man from the neighborhood.
Schooler was asking about funds when Moore made an incredible admission: he would spend the money, and then afterward segmented funds would be moved around to stay within program guidelines. Therefore, the guidelines weren't driving the spending. Rather, the spending just HAPPENED and then afterward there would be some hope of fitting things into the guidelines. New Majority people sitting in the spectator section swore Plaintiff Attorney Jill Clark looked ready to "tear out her hair" at that moment. I didn't witness it one way or another. I was watching Moore and astounded by this admission, which was right up there with Moore's assertion Kip Browne needed to "know his place."
Schooler pressed questions about Dennis Wagner asking for financial records in the Spring of 2008, and expressions of concern over STEALING OF FUNDS. Schooler asked about Board Member Dan Rother asking for financial records. Was Rother not ENTITLED to these records? The members of the "New Majority" sat in the spectator section and SEETHED. During a break shortly thereafter, Dan Rother ticked off on his fingers the months he'd asked for records.
April, May, June, July, August, September...
Anne McCandless asserted she'd asked for records back in 2007, suspicious after the first annual meeting about how things were being run.
On the stand, Jerry Moore looked right at an email and claimed he'd NEVER received the request for documents from Rother. Moore claimed he wasn't the one "handling" the request. The records finally came loose in December of 2008. At some point, CPED issued a warning to JACC about failing to abide with citizen participation processes. Rother and Wagner were continuously requesting info, but it took months and a grievance being filed to force the hand of JACC under the Ben Myers "Old Majority."
Moore tried to claim Dan Rother was harassing "outside of the employment relationship" and "going beyond his scope" as a board member and claimed Rother "didn't understand his role as a board member."
Schooler questioned Moore about the issue of Moore trying to say Rother had a 1 year term. Bob Cooper of CPED had essentially sided with Kip Browne on the issue of Rother's term, which was 2 years, not 1.
Schooler asked about Moore writing a check after being terminated.
"Did you think you were still an employee?" Schooler asked. Moore answered something about how the termination letter didn't have "the correct signatories." Moore said the JACC organization "still has some responsibilities to me as an individual" and he believes he is still an employee.
"Why did you apply for unemployment compensation, then?" Schooler asked.
Moore said it was because he hadn't received a paycheck.
Schooler veered near the issue of missing office equipment and records. Moore was willing to say, "I was directed and instructed to have the office moved to the church." (By which he apparently means the Jordan New Life Church)
"Mr. Moore, you're aware the JACC equipment came up missing..." Schooler began.
Jill Clark objected, citing Moore's Fifth Amendment privilege. While the point was argued, Moore sat on the stand silently, doing his "drinking water like it's spring's finest beaujolais" thing.
Schooler tried to ask if Moore was EVER aware of the location of the missing office equipment and records.
OBJECTION! Fifth Amendment privilege. Sip, quaff, sippy poo with a wide-eyed, oh-so-innocent and misunderstood look. Meanwhile, Jill Clark's ticky mouth was grinding like a wood chipper.
Schooler asked Moore about the deal at 1564 Hillside Ave. N. Moore denied any and all involvement. He would not admit to having ever seen the invoice for $5,000 or the cashed check for $5,000. John Foster? Never heard of him. Keith Reitman, the seller in the fraudulent deal?
Oh, yes, heard of him. Reitman's on the JACC board. But that's all Moore claimed to know. Nope, not involved with any shady real estate deal like THAT. Nope.
It was my distinct impression Defense Attorney David Schooler was incensed at what appeared to be blatant, bold-faced lies by Jerry Moore. There are a number of creditable witnesses--including City Council Member Don Samuels--who will tell you Jerry Moore has plainly admitted involvement with the 1564 Hillside matter.
Moore left the stand soon after that. I dashed into the hallway to call Melony Michaels--who couldn't attend court that day--that Moore had been questioned about the house in her husband's name, the one at the center of fraud by Larry Maxwell with Moore Consulting messed up in the mix. While I tried to depress the power button on my cell phone, Jerry Moore suddenly came into the hallway in those oh-so-white pants, several days before Memorial Day. My god.
"Melony says hi," I said to Jerry.
"Melony who?" he asked. (I had, the previous day, introduced Jerry to Melony, though he didn't reach over and shake hands. Instead he'd said, "Oh, I don't know..." and I said, "Oh, I think you do, Jerry.")
So when Jerry asked "Melony who?" while quickly walking to the elevators, I answered, "Melony Michaels. John Foster's wife. You were asked about him on the stand."
"Tell her hi," Jerry answered. "Tell her it's great to be black."
"Excuse me?" I responded, because this struck me as a bizarre response. For the sake of a clear record, Melony is white.
"It's great to be a black man in Minnesota!" Moore said, jamming his finger into the elevator button.
Ah, I thought, Moore is TALKING. Time to get something juicy out of Moore, and if the white pants suffer as a result, so be it.
"Jerry, if you want to talk, I'll go get my notebook," I offered.
"Go ahead!" Moore snapped.
I ran back into court to snatch up my notebook. But when I got back, Moore had disappeared like a puff of smoke. I made my way to the second floor of the county government building, hoping to catch him in the lobby area.
Gone. Moore was gone.
Bob Miller testified after that. The one thing I got from Miller's testimony was this:
The 91 percent figure for administrative expenses was not JUST for NRP funds. That was Miller's estimation of across-the-board administrative expenses.
At the end of Miller's testimony, Judge Porter asked if there were any comparable executive directors of neighborhood organizations, making something close to the money Moore was making.
The short answer: NO WAY.