A Burbank Temporary Aid Center board member has called for the
resignation of President Jan Loporchio, saying public confidence in
the agency hangs in the balance.
Board member Kermit Floyd asked Loporchio to resign during an
emergency meeting called Friday by the board’s executive committee to
discuss community concerns over the recent firing of Executive
Director Patricia Smola.
“I believe someone else should serve as president, because I think
it’s time to move on,” Floyd said Tuesday. “I don’t want the public
to lose confidence in BTAC.”
According to Floyd, Loporchio did not reply to the request to step
down, which he said was “not well received” by other board members.
“There was a general lack of interest in pursuing that course of
action,” he said.
Reached Tuesday, Loporchio declined to comment except to say that
“I really don’t know even if I can respond to that.” Board Vice
President Michael Walbrecht could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Smola, who was terminated last month for reasons that are still
unclear, was credited with turning around the center, which had been
beset by a volunteer revolt and a series of resignations and
leadership changes. Smola was the center’s fourth director in five
“I would not ask any administrator to resign [because] of a
singular issue,” Floyd said. “In this case, what disturbs me is this
is not the first time this has happened.”
Friends and colleagues of Smola, including those who donate time
and money to the center, have publicly criticized the board for her
dismissal. At least one volunteer has severed ties with the agency
over the handling of Smola’s separation from BTAC, and a longtime
donor has expressed doubts about board leadership.
Floyd -- who serves as chairman of the Salvation Army advisory
board and president of Burbank Family Service Agency -- said that
since Smola was fired, he has received numerous calls from donors
questioning the center’s leadership.
Smola, hired by the board of directors in June 2000, learned she
had been terminated by the board in a letter she received June 27. In
February she went on disability leave for a stress-related illness,
and subsequently filed a workers’ compensation claim, which Floyd
said was denied by the agency.
Floyd is among those charged with finding a replacement for Smola.
“The issue will be resolved,” he said. “We can’t do it in 24 hours.”