Children's Museum Executive Director Suspended

By Mary Wilson |

Published 03/31 2014 06:16PM

Updated 03/31 2014 06:22PM

Shocking new details tonight on the mess surrounding the Utica Children's Museum. At a surprise Sunday board meeting Executive Director Marlene Brown was suspended and banned from the property. But tonight even questions about the legitimacy of that meeting. We know the board of directors gave Marlene Brown sixty-percent ownership of the building in 2011. But come to find out, that transaction was never legally finalized. If it had been, Brown could have been responsible for about 40-thousand dollars in taxes. Now--there's been an attempt suspend her altogether.
An emergency meeting called Sunday morning with just three of eight board members present.
"We decided through unanimous vote to suspend Executive Director Marlene Brown, suspend her from any actions that has to do with banking, any transactions," said Christopher Gordon, a board member.
A letter of suspension mailed to Marlene Brown, forbidding her from even being on museum property. Gordon says it was all done legally through a quarom--that's when at least one-third of board members are present."

But board member Brad Brown--who's Marlene's son, says in an email, the meeting was not legal, because Christopher Gordon quote, "is not now or never has been board chair of the children's museum."
But Gordon says he was elected board chair at this January meeting--the picture has since been removed from the museum's website.
Its unclear if Gordon did have the authority to call this meeting--and it's also unclear what Brown's response to the suspension is. Gordon says one of the main reasons he's speaking out is that he doesn't want the board of directors held responsible for any laws that Marlene Brown could have broken.
"Could it turn criminal? If the funds aren't there and if we find out funds are being spent without our knowledge, obviously," he said.
Several attempts by Eyewitness News to reach out to Marlene Brown have not yet been returned.

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