OAKLEY -- An East Contra Costa County animal rescue group that voted its president off the board last week also wants to evict her sister from the shelter where she's been a live-in caretaker.
After unseating Tamara Reed at their July 19 meeting, directors of Homeless Animals' Lifeline Organization also notified the woman who had been staying at its Oakley adoption center that her services were no longer needed.
Board members offered no explanation for their actions at the time, saying only that they had "lost confidence" in Reed.
The letter presented to her sister, Renee Franceschini, that night asked her to vacate the Second Street facility that the organization is leasing from the city no later than Aug. 20 and offered her $500 in moving expenses if she leaves by Tuesday.
But this week, newly elected H.A.L.O. president Wayne Sanderson acknowledged that the board removed Reed in the hopes that if she left, Franceschini would as well.
Some directors are concerned about Franceschini allowing teenage shelter volunteers into her living quarters after hours, he said, fearing that she was creating the appearance of impropriety and exposing the nonprofit to litigation.
Because it originally was a fire station, the animal shelter also contains a kitchen, bedroom and living room as well as an area that H.A.L.O. has been using as an office.
Franceschini, a single mother of two, says the board not only told her she could
But one of the youths Franceschini cared for as a nanny, a 17-year-old boy, reportedly has interacted with high school girls who volunteered at the shelter in a way that made at least one adult volunteer uneasy, and that person complained to some board members, Sanderson said.
When Reed didn't rectify the situation, the board decided it had to act, he said.
Reed disputes Sanderson's account, saying that board meeting minutes show that directors never asked her to talk to her sister about after-hours guests.
And only one board member ever expressed a vague dislike of the boy in question, Reed said, but even then that woman didn't ask her to approach Franceschini about him.
Moreover, she never received a complaint about him from any of the other youths or adult volunteers, Reed said.
"That is something I definitely would have addressed," she said.
For her part, Franceschini says she has every right to invite whomever she wants into her home, and isn't planning to pack her bags.
Meanwhile, the teenagers who were cleaning cages, feeding and exercising the animals have stopped showing up since Reed's ouster, and Sanderson says there's no way to contact them because the roster with their names and phone numbers has disappeared.
As a result, the dogs all have been relocated to foster homes and only 11 cats remain, even though the lease specifies that the facility should house about 40 animals at any given time.
What's more, Sanderson said board members can't access H.A.L.O.'s office for their meetings because the locks have been changed.
Franceschini says Reed did that the day after she was forced off the board to protect her privacy now that she wouldn't be around to do that herself when board members stopped by.
Sanderson said he has contacted the city attorney to discuss the organization's next steps, noting that the city -- not H.A.L.O. -- is the landlord.
City Manager Bryan Montgomery declined comment, saying through his assistant that he didn't want to get involved in a nonprofit's internal dissension.
Contact Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her on Twitter.com/rowenacoetsee
What: Homeless Animals' Lifeline Organization still will hold pet adoptions at its shelter.
Where: 215 Second St., Oakley
When: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and by appointment
More information: 925-473-4642