Former Exec Sues Ronald McDonald House

     NEWARK (CN) – A former executive at Ronald McDonald House Charities claims in court that the company president lured her away from another job by concealing that the charity was operating under “unstable financial circumstances.”
     Mary Ruotolo sued Ronald McDonald House of Charities New York Tri-State Area and Diane Koury, her former boss, in Essex County Court.
     Ruotolo claims that Koury, president of the defendant charity, recruited her to join as an executive director in May 2011.
     Ruotolo claims Koury told her that she would have “broad authority” to “forge relationships with everyone involved” and “develop relationships with directors of the five Ronald McDonald Houses in the Tri-State Region.”
     But that’s not how it was, Ruotolo says in the complaint. She claims that “she had no office, no telephone and no computer” and that Koury barred her from pursuing contacts.
     It got worse, Ruotolo says, when she “learned that Ms. Koury and the Board had concealed from plaintiff the fact that the RMHC was in unstable financial circumstances and faced a large deficit.”
     She says that when she objected to the “misrepresentations” Koury had used to “lure plaintiff away from her previous employer,” Koury “became hostile,” and that “Koury’s hostility peaked after plaintiff, in writing, on June 25, 2011, brought to the Board’s attention the RHMC@NYTSA’s failure for two years to file annual charity registration forms with the New Jersey Secretary of State’s Office.”
     The complaint continues: “Plaintiff stated in her written memo that ‘This is a serious matter that could result in fines up to $10,000 and loss or suspension of nonprofit status.”
     Ruotolo says the defendants fired her 17 days after she sent that memo.
     She seeks compensatory and punitive damages for fraud, retaliation, mental suffering, humiliation, damage to reputation, and lost earnings and benefits.She is represented by Neil Mullen with Smith Mullin, of Montclair

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