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Posted July 1, 2003
Pierre Imbert, the "coq" of the village, will be remembered for causing the Boston Haitian-American community to be prideless and dashing its hope
By Jacques Dady Jean

Boston - Wasting or the fleecing of America, these words offer a perfect description of Pierre Imbert's performance as the executive director of the Haitian Multi-Service Center, a Boston's social service agency servicing mainly Haitians..

The Haitian Multi-Service Center (HMCC), once a symbol of pride and a landmark for the Haitian community, will soon become history. According to a source close to Catholic Charities, the Haitian Multi-Service Center will definitely close its doors by August 30th of this year and the remnants will be transferred to the Dorchester Multi-Service Center. As the leader of the HMCC for nearly 8 years, Pierre Imbert failed to direct the Institution in its original mission to assist the indigent, more specifically the new Haitian immigrants. The seven years of Imbert's administration was tainted by corruption, abuse of power, treason and gross incompetence. Must he be said that he largely disappointed the Haitian community and reduced the Institution to rubble.

Pierre Imbert's primary responsibility was to create and implement programs such as English as a Second Language, job training and others to empower the newcomers, allowing their smooth integration into mainstream America. Rather, Pierre has focused his efforts on building his clan. He has portrayed himself as a rottweiler, "a matador superb" ready to jump and attack anyone who does not share his selfish opinions and questions his actions. For instance, Pierre Imbert spent non-profit funds to finance a rally in support of Cardinal Bernard Law and the alleged priest molesters with no regard for the victims.

Pierre Imbert was a humble man until he was promoted to the position of executive director; shortly afterward, his head inflated. He became overcome by an illusion of power and turned into the loudest "coq" in the village, a very controversial voice that was heard in every manifestation, on every platform. Suddenly, Imbert developed into an anti-American activist, a leftist, a charismatic leader, in short, a fool and a demagogue. More recently, Pierre Imbert claimed that the Mattapan community activists are not credible and cursed the Mattapan Community Web Site.

If the Haitian Multi-Service Center has the largest budget, compared to its peers, the Haitian-American Public Health Initiative (HAPHI) and Haitian Aids Project: Center for Health, Education and Research (CCHER), its staff and the quality of the services offered by this organization were certainly a disaster.

Nearly 90% of the HMCC's budget went to payroll and the remaining10% was spent on basic operations and activities to boost Imbert's personal agenda.

The Center became a traditional bureaucracy, where groups of people gather each day to engage themselves in the same daily routine, consisting of making a few phone calls and discussing the newest gossip in town - nothing more. In bold terms, gossiping costs taxpayers more than 2 million dollars annually since most of the funds allocated to the Haitian Multi-Service Center came from the local and federal government, but via the Catholic Charities' channel.

There is no established mechanism to control the actions of the executive team. The Haitian Multi-Service Center is managed by an advisory board, composed of members handpicked by the executive director, many of them are absenters or fence sitters. They never participate in board meetings. However, the only time most of the members ever meet with the executive director is in the ballroom at Lantana's during their annual fundraising in the town of Randolph, MA, south of Boston.

The president of the board is a medical doctor known for his silly attitude; a special advisor to the largely disgraced former Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston and a demagogue who was under the scrutiny of the FBI for insurance fraud, as reported by the Boston Globe.

The only clean member in the hierarchy of the Haitian Multi-Service Center is Sister Louise Sullivan. Oh, poor lady! She does even know what she is doing among these scoundrels, she is surrounded by shacks.

Catholic Charity sent Sister Sullivan to the Center with the mission to effectively lead the institution. Pierre Imbert was supposed to be a puppet, a nominal executive director with a ceremonial portfolio. However, this tactic did not work, and Pierre Imbert managed to hire his staff strategically to have an edge over the Haitian media aimed at controlling the opinion of the community by creating a shield over the Haitian media.

A brief review of theHaitian Multi-Service Center's staff would reveal that sixty percent, at least, of the persons employed are media personalities: Henry Yves Joseph of Radio Energy Boston 1620AM; Career Journalist Romeo Estinvil, an alumnus of Emmanuel college and freelancer; Bonny St. Elau, a former schoolteacher and radio talk show host on Radio Concord 1550 AM, Mattapan. Community and business leader Julio Midi is also a journalist, and co-owner of Radio Concord Boston 1580AM. Marise Simon, a radio show host and co-owner of Radio Nouveaute, Mattapan MA 1640AM.

In addition to his squad of journalists and radio announcers, Imbert used small contributions and converted donated equipment into currency and utilized the cash to bribe other media personalities.

Why should a manager have any reason to engage in such a venture consisting of spoiling and bribing members of the media if he does not have any intention to short circuit the opinion of his community.

Pierre Imbert has purchased Radio airtime for fictitious reasons, with the intention to offer financial favors to his friends and supporters. There was never an attempt to advertise the opportunity in order to give other media owners a chance to bid for these contracts.

Pierre Imbert received several personal computers or PC's donated from the Watertown-based IT solutions or AEGIS. These computers were pre-owned by Ann Beha Associates, a prestigious architectural firm, located in downtown Boston. It did not take a long time for two of these computers to be found in a luxurious residence in the town of Norwood, where they were sold to a medical doctor. Ironically, the same IT professional that urged the firm to donate the computers to the Haitian Multi-Service Center was called to upgrade and customize the PCs for special purpose use. Important information such as credit card and other critical accounts related to ABA, the Windows Operating System registered to Ann Beha Associates, were still the hard drive of the P.Cs. These certainly helped  IT professionals to easily determine the origin of the PCs, and later found out that they were the Haitian Center's properties, they were illegally sold.

The doctor and his wife earn approximately $180,000 per year. They were not qualified to receive aid whatsoever from the Haitian Multi-Service Center since they were poor, as the U.S. Federal poverty guideline suggests. According to Aegis, the computers were given to the Haitian Multi-Service Center with the purpose of helping the poor, certainly not as a gift to Pierre Imbert.

Pierre Imbert has also allowed his friends and preferred employees to use the institution's van for personal business and use non-profit funds to sponsor political events such as promoting the campaign of fomer Democratic candidate for governor of the State of Massachusetts, Shannon O'Brien.

Nevertheless, there are current and former employees of the Haitian Center who have contributed a great deal to the Haitian community during its lifetime and have tireless tried their best to serve their community with respect and dignity. They are: Frantz Monestime, Evelyne Jovain Prophete, Eustache Jean Louis, Eno Mondesir, Yvon Jean Charles and his wife, Delva Pierre Toussaint, Julio Midi, Romero Estinvil, Marie Verdieu, Paula to mention only a few.

There are efforts to rescue the Haitian Multi-Service Center, but it is too little, too late. But one thing for sure, Pierre Imbert, the "coq" of the village, will be remembered for causing the Boston Haitian-American community to be hopeless and dashing its hope.

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