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Northern Harrier

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Sad goings on at Soho


A friend mailed me this story. 

The husband and wife team at the helm of a high-profile San Diego nonprofit ignited a bitter controversy by taking charitable donations valued at nearly $70,000 out of the state for their personal use. The conflict strained San Diego’s insular historic preservation community, led to a board member’s resignation, sparked retaliation concerns and prompted an overhaul of the institution’s policies.

With no permission and little documentation, the longtime leaders of Save Our Heritage Organization shipped a trove of antiques to their private mansion in Mississippi, where the objects stayed for more than two years, until complaints were made.

SOHO manages historic house museums and fights the destruction of historic properties throughout San Diego County. The nonprofit, which oversees more than $4 million in assets, has helped preserve some of the most iconic pieces of architecture in the region, including the Cabrillo Bridge in Balboa Park and the Western Metal building in Petco Park.

If the allegations are true, it is a pretty despicable breach of trust and responsibility. I have known the principals for many years, although we have never been particularly close. They should have and did know better. SOHO has done a lot of admirable work for the community but this is clearly an ethical breach. Power corrupts.

A San Diego nonprofit’s historical antiques landed in Mississippi. A bitter conflict followed

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