Former NOW Chapter Treas. Muzzles Opposition
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD -- Maryland Citizens for Responsible Government (MCRG) calls on both the Maryland Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg to release all records involving Trachtenberg's actions as NOW's treasurer from 2006 until November 2008, when Trachtenberg resigned from her position and membership with the organization.
MCRG has anonymously received an unsettling document which purports to be a summary of a November 9, 2009, NOW Grievance Committee Decision against Trachtenberg. The grievance allegedly cites Suntrust Bank records for NOW's checking account and claims that Trachtenberg misused NOW's ATM card to make unauthorized cash withdrawals; make purchases at retail stores like Lord & Taylor, Victoria's Secret, and Filenes Basement; and write numerous checks to herself and her husband.
The grievance further alleges that at the end of her term as NOW treasurer, Trachtenberg failed to provide accounting records.
Trachtenberg currently sits on the County Council of Montgomery County, Maryland. In her infamous letter to the Department of Justice, Councilmember Trachtenberg requested transparent behavior of all public servants. "Threatening the National Organization for Women with legal action if they publicly speak about their grievance is not transparent behavior," said Dr. Ruth Jacobs, MCRG President.
"MCRG calls on Trachtenberg to retract threats of legal action against NOW, confirm the outcome of this grievance, and produce all records concerning her actions as treasurer for NOW as the grievance allegedly demands. As Trachtenberg herself has said, Montgomery County residents deserve transparency of their public officials."
A January 20, 2010, Gazette article documented that Trachtenberg had threatened legal action against officers of Maryland NOW for defamation and invasion of privacy if they discuss the grievance with the media. Trachtenberg's attorney also asked that NOW "dismiss a claim that Trachtenberg mishandled money while serving as treasurer of the organization."
Trachtenberg is seeking re-election this fall to her Montgomery County Council at-large seat. Both Montgomery County NOW and the Gazette have not endorsed Trachtenberg. And the alleged grievance forbids Trachtenberg from holding any leadership position with NOW. Montgomery County Now is reported to have added a new question to their candidate questionnaire -- "Is there anything in your background that might disqualify you from an endorsement by MCNOW?"