Statement from James Neighbors about ‘Rumors’

This is a statement from James Neighbors, of Overpasses for America, about talk that he used some money from donations and sales for personal expenses.


To all my friends and colleagues, I thank you all for your support and loyalty in making this organization a success; you are the cogs in the wheels of success.

 

Because we are all in this together as a team, I want to make a final comment regarding the whirlwind of rumors and comments, The fact is, as the Founder of the movement, I COULD pay myself a salary for my work, I have been advised that this would be legal, ethical, and justifiable. Every major non-profit organization in America has paid staff, and obviously for-profit companies do the same.

 

When I founded this organization, I chose not to take a salary, I decided that I would work just as hard as my volunteers if not harder to grow this organization and fulfill our mission to impeach Obama.

 

I do not deny that I borrowed (and I stress borrowed) funding from the sales and donations for Overpasses. I took this action as it was the only way I could sustain running this organization.

 

Before removing any monies from the donation account, the national leaders were advised and agreed it was necessary for the good of the movement. The decision was made that I would take a loan and pay it back with interest as soon as possible. An organization does not run by itself, if my financial situation was not impeded by the same legal system we are fighting this would never have been an issue.

 

My goal has been to be an organizer, a motivator and creator of a movement that has a voice, we have done that . I am not the greatest business genius.  That is not my forte, what I am an American patriot who loves our country and stood up to do so something. I am one of the many who is fighting the

system to get what is legally and morally mine, no more, no less.

 

I will not join in the slander, bashing or rumor mongering as my former trusted national leaders are doing , I will stand on my principles and just say to you, I am the founder of this movement, any other comments to the contrary are untrue.

 

I will not go into details about what happened internally within the leadership to bring us to this conclusion;  however will say that all parties concerned knew exactly what went on and in fact agreed it was the best course of action. For the same people to feign they knew nothing is ludicrous, we discussed everything and those who were involved know the truth.

 

I have grown behind this experience; I now know that I need someone who will handle the fiduciary part of this organization.  I have enlisted the services of a certified business accountant who will manage the account, and he has offered to do so free of charge.  We will decide very soon if we will file as a 501-C3 non profit or another designator. We will make the decision based on the best interest of our organization.

 

Now it is up to you to decide what path you want to take, stay and fight the good fight believing that I James Neighbors is the same man you followed from the beginning.

 

All I can ask you to do at this point is to continue doing what we’ve been doing. Organizing rallies , and having protests.

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9 Responses to Statement from James Neighbors about ‘Rumors’

  1. Lee Williams says:

    I will continue to work as diligent as ever. I am a state leader with another closed group here in Louisiana. Tried to get the state leaders of Overpasses in Louisiana to join with us to bring together members and non members of several different groups to start co ordinating OUR events , it fell flat at my feet. UNITED WE STAND and STAND TOGETHER SHOULDER to SHOULDER WE MUST. Hopefully I will be able to send new Members to Overpasses as well as other groups. Just sad they wanted no part of it. Just don’t understand why not

    • Admin says:

      Not sure I understand the situation. You belong to a non-OfA group and was trying to coordinate with the local OfA members and they refused? I think OfA management discourages their members from working with non-OfA groups at the local level. I believe this is because they want to be in control of things. It worked well for getting protests going across the nation, but people become tired of being so tightly controlled.

    • I’m not sure when this happened, but get with me and we’ll see what we can do to remedy the problem. Louisiana has really stepped up their game over the last month, and I don’t see why we couldn’t get things worked out.

  2. We actually have been encouraging our state leaders to work with groups not directly affiliated with Overpasses.. To say we’re tightly controlled is a drastic overstatement. We have guidelines, not strict laws that must be obeyed.

    • Brandy Mason says:

      We do not affiliate with anyone else??? Gee then I guess the work we have done and STILL are doing with We the Truckers, 2 Million Bikers to DC, One Million Veterans March groups no affiliation with other groups then??? Mmmm, OK then. Glad you know so much more than we do.

  3. Donna Graffagnino says:

    James, I am so sad about everything that has happened recently. I understand your financial situation more than I care to admit, as do MANY of the very members you represent. To us YOU are Overpasses of America. The organization is now divided, those blindly loyal to you, and others who know the whole truth. Before our organization can heal, you must admit to EVERYONE what you did, how you did it, and what you are doing to make it right. The above statement is an excuse justifying that you are entitled to it and still calling the other Founders rumormongers, slanderers and liars. You are still claiming that they were aware of the loan and approved it. You KNOW that is not the truth.

    PLEASE, let’s finish this and start fresh. I am going to post the conversation between you and Rick. There are copies of this but I’d really like to see you come completely clean with everyone. Some who have defended your honor will be hurt, embarrassed, even angry but I believe we can all learn and heal from this. I hope you will talk to Gary Labich and others who are foaming at the mouth in complete faith that you did not take, borrow, steal the money without full disclosure and our organization is now divided. You can make this right, or the screenshot of the letter will be posted. At that point you will lose the confidence of everyone and I don’t want that to happen.

    Conversation started Sunday
    The following is from Rick Halle… he posted on [WA State Group} this morning that he could no longer continue, that there are principles and morals which he must live by and that he would need to leave if there was ever any conflict with them.

    Between Dennis Ann and myself we cornered him and made him admit it. The post I made was that post. It was only up a short time and was only in the smallest leader group. He is trying to keep it close. Some leaders that spoke out at that point were deleted and Ann then left. No surprise as we were discussing it already. I was ill so I was sleeping at the time or I would have done so then as well. On the groups where I was banned they were various leader groups and the national forum. Those were where I had the chance to contact the most people at once as I knew I would get banned from them.

    Following is the reply from Jim to Dennis, Ann and Rick after they confronted him;

    James Neighbors

    I would appreciate if you give some thought into what I am about to say, before you reply…
    As you all know, this movement is grass roots.. Nobody who has done this is an expert at operating a grass roots movement. That’s why they call it grass roots.

    It’s people with a belief so strong, they take a leap of faith and ACT..

    I’m far from perfect, but I give everything I have to be as good as I can be. I am a lot of things, but two things I know I am not, is a thief or a liar.

    This is why I am addressing you now.

    On June 13th, 2013 I founded Overpasses. Dallas Thurman, Rick Halle, and Ann Whitten showed up very shortly after the movement’s inception and have been with the movement since.

    The one thing that has allowed me to spend so much time on this, is that on August 5th, 2012, I was seriously injured in a Spontaneous Use of Force working for the Oklahoma Dept of Corrections. Since June 26th, I have not worked due to nearly constant wracking pain.. I have lost the vast majority of strength in both of my arms due to the injury in my neck. Die to the injury, I have been fighting a battle with Workers Compensation Court for 14 months.. They have delayed doing the right thing at every turn, to the point of being found in Contempt of Court.

    This includes denying me any pay during the time I have been unable to work, up until 10 days ago. I have been living on a shoestring budget at best.. My car is two months behind on the payment, my electric bill is late every single month, and was cut off once during this time period of receiving no income.

    Every single day has been an utter nightmare for me financially. Every single day has been a struggle for me, knowing I was being shown great injustice by the very place I have poured quite literally blood, sweat and backbreaking labor into working for.

    Since being off of work, I have lived, eaten and breathed this movement.. All of you know this.. Overpasses has been my entire life. I have forsaken friends and family to make this happen to the utmost best of my abilities.

    At some point in this, I quite simply ran out of money for food, gas to get to rallies, pay for electricity, the cell phone I use ONLY for this, and a few other minor expenses involved in living… The room mate I have is on disability, and has no money to spare for anything to assist me with financially.

    Out of desperation, and too embarrassed to beg for charity, I BORROWED some of the funds from the sales of the bumper stickers and window decals to pay for the most basic of my necessities.

    I ONLY did this, knowing I am winning every court battle with Workers Compensation/Dept of Corrections, and would have the money to repay every cent I ever borrowed, plus a large percentage for a donation into the movement.

    Had I not known I would receive the back compensation from Workers Comp to repay what I borrowed, I would have simply walked away from this movement that all of YOU have made shake this nation awake.

    What I can tell you is this.. I have NOT gone off on some wild spending spree, living some lavish life on donations or proceeds from the store sales.

    Tomorrow, I will have a business accountant begin doing an itemized audit to determine exactly how much I have borrowed. Every cent will be returned, plus interest.

    If necessary, I will allow my car to be repossessed (which has never been paid for from the funding) to free up money from workers compensation back pay to pay this back.

    It was never my intent to mislead, or steal from this movement as I knew I would have the funding to repay what I had borrowed.. I simply needed TIME for that to happen..
    If I have broken the law, it was out of ignorance of the law. I know this is no excuse, as ignorance of the law is no excuse. What I do know of the law, is that if I repay what was borrowed, they are most always understanding if it was not intentional theft, which it was not.
    I apologize to anyone who finds me at fault in the course of actions I took.

    I have poured countless hours into this movement, and only wish for it to succeed.

    As when I first began this, I have no desire to get rich or famous from this.. I simply want to free our nation from tyranny.. To return our nation to prosperity, honor, and integrity..
    I made a mistake, due to ignorance and complete embarrassment, and being too proud to beg for help.

    Again, I apologize for any wrongdoing I may have done, and apologize if I have let you down in any way. I have a big heart, but I am an error prone human..

    I don’t know what else to say, so at this point I throw myself to the wolves…

    Enjoy devouring me if that is your wish.

  4. So, how would they know there was money being spent, if they didn’t have access to the account?

    Because they, as I have said from the beginning knew it was because THEY TOLD ME TO!

    Rick and Ann came up with the plan for me to use the money to stay afloat.. I thought about it for days, then asked again to be certain they were ok with it..

    So to repeat the important question.. If they had no access to the account, how would they know any money was being spent? Their story has more holes in it than a pasta strainer.

  5. Donna Graffagnino says:

    How would your personal financial situation have anything to do with the running of Overpasses? If there had been no donations or sales, your finances would still be what they are now. The donations page explicitly stated that NO funds will be used for personal use or gain. It is not a loan company or organization that offers credit. No one else is able to “borrow” from the till and I’m sure many of our members are in the exact same situation, or worse, than you.

    It’s irrelevant how they found out – but they did. Why would Three of the Four founders suddenly turn on you? It doesn’t make sense. Do you deny sending the above letter? Is that letter a forgery or did someone hack your computer and send it? It something doesn’t make sense then it’s usually untrue. Every transaction has a paper trail and the donations that were automatically tallied on the web page are only part of the funds. Direct PayPal donations also have a paper trail as do the funds for merchandise sold. It’s more than $400, a LOT more. Why would you need all of that money from an organization that is only Four months into it’s existence?

    Long story short – co-mingling or use of Organization funds is not legal. If there were any direct personal loans to you or if you received a personal donation those are for you to use as you see fit. However, the funds donated to the GROUP CAUSE, for the use for Overpasses is not for you, or anyone else to use for personal bills. When you did this without informing those who selflessly donated, you not only took from them but you took from each and every one of us. It was wrong. IF the other founders gave you permission to use that money for your bills then they, too, were wrong.

    Rumors and lies spread like wildfire, but the truth ALWAYS comes out. If you have been hacked or the “confession letter” was forged then I will apologize publicly to you and everyone else. There are just too many inconsistencies in your posted statements. Widespread secrecy and evidence of bad business decisions have been revealed which implies that much more is going on than what the majority of the members are aware.

    P.S. So much for not running the Organization like a dictator (GL) – obviously Free Speech is not allowed if it doesn’t agree with you.

    • Brandy Mason says:

      He paid the electric bill and got some food…sheesh. The organization would not run without electric to get on the computer to run the organization. He did it so he could run the organization. And btw a person needs to eat because a hungry person cannot work. He never paid his car payment which has been 3 payments behind and about to be repossessed. If he was trying to use these funds to HIS advantage then he would have paid a lot more bills with it than electric and food. James was THE ONLY ONE with a lot access to the money so really, how did they know he spent it? Really? That’s the KEY question. It’s obviously because they knew and we’re ok with it.

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