Rivera once again will seek to become the National LULAC President.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
February 12, 2015
Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, Magdalena “Maggie” Rivera of Crystal Lake, Illinois confirmed that she will run as a candidate to become the next National LULAC President in 2015. Rivera will officially announce her candidacy for national president on Saturday during the National LULAC Board meeting. She will initiate a national election campaign of her vision to advocate for real change, transparency, accountability and democracy for all LULAC paying membership Councils in the troubled national non-profit organization. Rivera stated, “Let’s finish what we started, a real change in LULAC for future generations, “Real” democracy at its best!” Rivera is viewed as a reformer and advocate for LULAC Council members voting rights.
Rivera is one of many LULAC members in Washington, D.C. attending the LULAC National Board and LULAC Institute meeting from February 13-14.
The next National LULAC election will be held this July in Salt Lake City during the 86th National LULAC Annual Convention.
Last Summer, Rivera was elected as the National LULAC President at the 85th National LULAC Annual Convention in New York City. But, the termed-out LULAC President Margaret Moran, Luis Vera, the election judge and Manuel Escobar, the legal advisor for Moran canceled the election and cheated Rivera of taking office by filing legal challenges, which are still being argued in the New York State Supreme Court and in a Bexar County court in Texas. The legal challenges filed by Moran extended her stay as president of the National LULAC, but has not been recognized by the LULAC Executive Committee (EC) who provides funding approvals for the organization.
Under the leadership of Moran and former National LULAC President Rosa Rosales, the National LULAC organization has become embroiled in major financial, including questionable sales of LULAC properties without the knowledge of the EC leading to scandals within the organization, lawsuits costing the organization thousands of dollars in legal fees and damages to plaintiffs in Texas, Arizona and most likely in New York as well.
Moran, Vera and Escobar recently lost a lawsuit in Arizona for cheating 44 LULAC Councils by denying their state certifications in the 84th Las Vegas National LULAC Convention elections in 2013. The National LULAC, including Moran settled and had to pay more than $25,619 to the plaintiffs.
Moran, Vera and Escobar denied 140 Arizona Council members their right to vote for Domingo García who was running for National LULAC President. García too was denied his candidacy to get elected in the Las Vegas National LULAC Convention.
● In October of 2014, Moran faced two embarrassing situations when she was rejected by both the National LULAC Institute and the LULAC Corporate Alliance for pretending to be the National LULAC president after being termed-out. The National LULAC under Moran ended up paying about $120,000 for partisan delegate unused hotel rooms in NY, after the 85th National LULAC Convention. The payment was done without the approval of the EC and resulted in allegations that Moran and Brent Wilkes, the National LULAC Executive Director had engaged in misappropriation of funds.
● More than $30,000 has been used by Moran to pay for her lawyer fees on several legal cases pending, which were not authorized by the EC.
● A Nueces County civil lawsuit pertaining to a LULAC property located at 2625 Greenwood Dr., in Corpus Christi, Texas claimed that it was sold to the Hacienda Senior Housing, LP (HSH) associated with investor Walter Martinez. The LULAC property was sold in 2012 to multiple identities including the San Antonio Community Development Council, which Escobar was listed as a director and registered agent subject to conflict of interest allegations.
The lawsuit filed in June 2013 claims that Moran and Escobar conspired to commit fraud and failed to notify the LULAC membership, including the LULAC National Board of the sale before the property was actually sold for $1.7M. “After debt transactional fees were paid, LULAC received a mere $250,000,” for the property. Moran authorized the sale and signed documents along with Escobar, the LULAC National Legal Advisor before they could get approval by the National Board. “The property sale was kept secret from the National Board and LULAC members,” the Rick Dovalina and LULAC v. Moran and Escobar (case 2013ccv-61062-3 in the Nueces County Civil Court at Law Number 3) lawsuit claims.
Ten days after the property was sold, the commercial real estate value market price was $10M.
● Three other valuable properties were coming up for their 30 year free and clear pay off and were destine to be sold without authorization from the membership, but the lawsuit stopped any attempt by Moran and Escobar to sell them. Wilkes apparently knew of the clandestine sale of the property to HSH. Those three LULAC properties were also marked for sale for pennies to a dollar, but Rick Dovalina’s lawsuit halted any further sale of any properties.
● The City of Corpus Christi also filed a lawsuit against several Texas LULAC Councils under former LULAC National President Rosa Rosales for not fulfilling their promise in 2008 to built an 80 low housing unit project by 2010, which the City of Corpus Christi and the Corpus Christi Community Improvement Corporation paid them $400,000 to do so and nothing was ever built in the property. The City of Corpus Christi is seeking to get reimburse for $400,000 from the defendants.
Rosales financial transactions between 2008 to 2010 led to an allegation of giving away the LULAC Hacienda Housing project and the Kingsville Manor Apartment complex costing LULAC thousands of dollars in losses.
Moran, Rosales and Wilkes were contacted by HNNUSA for comment, but did not return any response.