Wednesday, July 13, 2016
LACBA’s Net Worth Shrinks by $1 Million in 2015
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Los Angeles County Bar Association’s assets dwindled and its liabilities rose in the last calendar year—with total net assets dropping by more than $1 million—according to a financial statement, posted on the organization’s website.
Total net assets shrunk from $4.6 million as of the end of 2014 to $3.6 million as of last Dec. 31. The precise amount of the decrease was $1,061,044.
This correlates with the Nov. 18 statement by last year’s president, Paul Kiesel, that LACBA was “losing a million dollars a year,” and contradicts his Dec. 17 turn-about proclamation that the association was nearly breaking even.
The assets, before deducting liabilities, were $10.6 million, down from $10.8 million the year before, according to the audited statement. It showed that liabilities jumped from $6.2 million in 2014 to $7 million last year.
Although LACBA has pared its work force, the outlay in salaries last year was $5.7 million, down from $5.8 in 2014. With payroll taxes and benefits included, the cost was $7.3 million in 2015 and $7.4 million the preceding year.
Salaries in the undefined category of “Management and General” increased last year. With taxes and benefits, they amounted to $887,432 last year; they were $865,125 the year before.
In 2014, Chief Executive Officer Sally Suchil drew total compensation amounting to $358,734. Her starting salary in 2010 was $197,851 per year.
Suchil’s current salary and benefits have not been disclosed.
Tax returns for 2012 through 2014 were posted on the LACBA website recently, in response to growing discontentment within the group as to secrecy over its finances, as well as other widely perceived problems. The discontentment last month was evidenced by an overwhelming rejection of the Nominating Committee’s slate of officers and trustees, in the first contested election in 25 years.
The financial statement for LACBA’s charitable arm, the Counsel for Justice, for the period ending Dec. 31, 2014, reported that a debt to the organization of $546,375 for administrative expenses was forgiven that year, and that a debt of $2.3 million was outstanding. The Counsel for Justice’s 2015 financial statement has not yet been posted.
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