FORT COLLINS, Colo. - A teachers' union official urged the Poudre School District Board of Education Tuesday night to stop a human resources manager from pressuring employees to buy into a "pyramid scheme."
During the board meeting in Fort Collins, the union official invoked a recent 7NEWS investigative story about complaints by district staff that Executive Director of Human Resources Chuck DeWayne was using his position to push employees to participate in his Organo Gold direct-sales coffee and tea distributorship. Several district employees are believed to be involved in Organo Gold sales.
"Last week, after a Channel 7 report, people began stepping forward to the (teachers' union), but many still remain fearful for their jobs. They’re scared to come forward because their supervisors are the ones pressuring staff to buy into the Organo Gold pyramid scheme," Fran Docherty, an official with the Poudre Education Association union, told the board during community comment.
He urged board members to "enforce the board policy on conflict of interest."
"When you prey on classified probationary teachers, when you fraudulently introduce curriculum related to Organo Gold, and when you try to profit from your position in (Poudre School District) for personal gain, you deserve to be removed from that position," Docherty said. "Do the right thing."
Both DeWayne and Poudre School District Superintendent Sandra Smyser have not responded to 7NEWS' multiple requests for interviews.
Board members also met behind closed doors Tuesday night to discuss the Organo Gold controversy. After leaving the private executive session, the board did not report any actions taken on the issue to people attending the public meeting.
In an Oct. 10 story, 7NEWS' Amanda Kost reported that teachers' union officials say DeWayne is operating a private enterprise from his district post. They say this is a conflict of interest and he should be fired.
DeWayne is charged with overseeing the district's Human Resources Department, which serves more than 4,000 full-and part time PSD employees. Taxpayers pay DeWayne an annual salary of $141,820, according to school district records.
7NEWS obtained documents outlining DeWayne's plan to personally profit from his coffee-and-tea business by leveraging his position within the district.
A document titled "Definite Major Purpose" was edited and shared with multiple people during school hours on DeWayne's district email account. The text provides a road map for how DeWayne planned to influence student curriculum, fundraising, teacher re-licensure and training while recruiting school district staff for his personal a money making venture. Under step two, the document contains a list of "Personal Requirements," including DeWayne's plans to "Form a Master Mind Alliance with people from Napoleon Hill Foundation, Leadership within Poudre School District, and Organo Gold [sic]." The private foundation has ties to Organo Gold.
Organo Gold, also known "OG," is a multi-level coffee and tea direct sales company, with a training facility located in Loveland. The company consists of independent distributors who buy-in, sell OG products and recruit others to do the same. OG distributors receive ranks based on their performance in the company. Levels include Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald, Diamond and Black Diamond.
A picture of both Chuck DeWayne and his wife can be seen from outside an OG facility in Loveland. The couple is featured on the "Sapphire" wall. 7NEWS also found emails exchanged between DeWayne and his wife detailing their plans to further advance in rank with OG and, in time, make $63 million.
Their Sapphire ranking is just below the Ruby tier, which according to emails from DeWayne's district account, could amount to approximately $8,000 in monthly profits. On Facebook, DeWayne's wife wrote that she had used some of the money to purchase the Cadillac Escalade that her husband poses next to in a public photo album called "COFFEE CADI/BENZ."
In the document titled "The DeWayne's Definiteness of Purpose" the couple outlines their income goals writing, "The exact amount of money we desire is $63,000,000 accumulative by: New Year's Eve December 31, 2020."
"If I was to tell someone that I intend to make $63 million in my position within the school district, I think that would be a red flag," said Docherty, the teachers' union official.
"It's a use of your position of power to better your financial situation and to me that's just wrong," said Greg Grote, President of the PEA.