UNO unveils major reorganization and governance changes

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The United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) unveiled plans for a major reorganization today, including new boards of directors at the organization and its Charter School network, as well as reforms to provide a new system of checks and balances at UNO.

CEO Juan Rangel apologized to community leaders and school parents for what he called “poor governance practices.”

In addition, Rangel announced he would step down as president of the Charter Schools and from the boards of UNO and the Charter Schools to focus on his role as UNO’s CEO.

“In the past few months, questions have been raised about how UNO conducts its business,” said Rangel. “It has become clear to me that I failed to exercise proper oversight and hold UNO to the highest operational standards.”  “For these failures, I am deeply sorry, and I take full responsibility for them,” he added.

Rangel announced the boards of UNO and its Charter Schools would be replaced with individuals representing a wide cross-section of the Hispanic community, including parents from UNO schools.

Martin Cabrera Jr. will take over as chairman of the UNO board.  Cabrera has more than 19 years of experience in the finance and investment sector.

The changes come partly in response to questions about procurement practices at UNO and its Charter School network.

In particular, questions have been raised about contracts given to relatives of Miguel D’Escoto, a former UNO official.

“Such practices have no place at an organization like UNO,” Rangel said.

“UNO exists to serve as an anchor for building solid neighborhoods and providing quality educational opportunities for our children.  That mission remains as important as it was the day UNO was founded,” Rangel added.

“I know how important this organization is to the Latino community.  The new board members and I will take full responsibility to make sure UNO is running properly,” Cabrera said.

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