A Save 3ABN Exclusive
3ABN Board Ignored General Counsel's Warning
and Asked Him to Resign Instead
The 2005 3ABN Board
The 2005 3ABN Board members appear below, from a picture that appeared on page 4 of the 2005 edition of
Catch the Vision. Seated are Ellsworth McKee and May Chung, and standing from left
to right are Carmelita Troy, Danny Shelton, Bill Hulsey, Merlin Fjarli, Walter Thompson, Wintley Phipps,
Larry Welch, Nicholas Miller, Kenneth A. Denslow, and Mollie Steenson. Not shown is G. Ralph Thompson.
Attorney Nick Miller was one of the attorneys that represented 3ABN in
3 Angels Broadcasting Network v. The Department of Revenue
of the State of Illinois. Nick also served on the special committee put together in the first half of
2004 to deal with Linda Shelton's alleged affair. At that point in time he was not yet a board member. Perhaps
the youngest member of the 3ABN Board in 2005, his tenure was quite short.
What happened to Nick Miller?
Prelude to the Discovery
Around mid-September 2006, Attorney Nicholas Miller, former board member of and general counsel for 3ABN,
contacted Bob Pickle seeking a copy of the 2003 Pastor
Glenn Dryden letter. In the course of the conversation he casually mentioned that he could see these
things coming and thus had resigned about ten months previous. On another occasion Gailon Joy remarked to Pickle
that Attorney Miller had been asked to resign after presenting some financial problems to the board.
However, around a month later or more, comments by a high-level 3ABNer suggested quite a different
story. In an effort to get to the truth of the matter, a follow-up question was in order:
-------- Original Message --------
||Clarification on 3ABN board resignation?
||Sun, 29 Oct 2006 12:17:40 -0600
I've got a question I'd like a little clarification on, if possible. You
mentioned to me that you could see things like the current situation
coming down the pike and resigned, maybe 11 months ago now. Gailon told
me that you resigned upon request from the board after you presented
financial problems that you saw. I don't see a discrepancy there.
I've also heard from someone else that there was some sort of
disagreement over legal charges you billed, and that that was involved
in the request for your resignation. Can you comment on that without it
getting back to potential sources of that idea?
It by no means is unheard of for an attorney to pass on a bill that seems too high, correct?
But consider the following:
- During the same time period, 3ABN reported spending $857,528.60 to $989,438.91 (from 2003 to 2005) on "Airplane operations."
- Sources allege that Danny Shelton makes purchases, some quite large, without turning in receipts, and that the 3ABN Board allegedly allowed that practice.
- For 1998 3ABN reported a $46,652.05 loss to the IRS on a house that it sold to Danny and Linda Shelton for $6,129 or $6,139, a house Danny and Linda then sold to a 3ABN supporter for $135,000 one week later.
- Danny Shelton as an individual as well as 3ABN are suing Joy and Pickle. Danny and 3ABN are using around six lawyers in two states, and these attorneys are keeping quite busy, which is bound to be sending a bigger bill toward 3ABN than Nick ever dreamed of sending.
Thus it seems quite odd that Nick would have been asked to
resign over such a comparatively small issue as billing too much, if that is
indeed what happened.
Nick Miller's Side of the Story
-------- Original Message --------
||G. Arthur Joy
||Thu, 2 Nov 2006 17:34:58 -0800
As to Bob's question, the short answer is this: A year ago from
last January I came across various information both financial
and operational, and some personal in relation to Danny, that
deeply concerned me, and was relevant to both my role as attorney
and board member. If it was not straightened up, I could not
in good conscience stay on in either role. I approached the
chairman of the board, and one or two influential board members,
to work to straighten it up. For the next two or three months,
with their assistance, we began to put policies in place, financial,
personnel, and other accountability structures for leadership.
Unsurprisingly, Danny began to get annoyed when policies were
proposed or actually implemented that curbed his authority.
He became aware that my concerns were the driving force behind
much of it, and he confronted me, and essentially told me to
back off, or he would have his former brother-in-law, a current
Three Angels senior employee, "investigate" my legal representation.
It was a strong message that I back of my concerns or lose my
legal role with Three Angels. Well, I'm not that kind of lawyer,
so I didn't back off, and his brother-in-law took my billing
records, modified them without my knowledge, and sent them with
a report to the board members claiming that I had billed for
services that had not been requested by management. It was an
odd charge, as I submitted detailed bills every month, and management
signed off on the bills, and knew exactly what I was doing.
This related to bills that had been happily paid more than a
year earlier. But in any event, Danny beat me to the punch with
the larger board, and of course I needed to raise the other financial
and operational concerns to explain why Danny was accusing me
of this. The board was not interested in the details of either
of our accusations, they did not ask to see the billing records,
they did not ask to view the evidence underlying my accusations.
Basically they said, and I'm paraphrasing an important board
member, that "Nick's a good guy, Danny's a good guy, but they
cannot work together anymore, somebody needs to leave, and Danny's
too important to go." I had no desire to stay around and serve
on a board that would not take seriously its oversight role,and
would not even be curious about the evidence involved I had graduate
studies and the Institute to pursue, and thus I willingly tendered
my resignation. Some of the board members felt badly about it,
including Ken Denslow. Walt Thompson told me that he knew that
Danny was just trying to get rid of me, and said that he would
give me a recommendation if I needed it. I have had a gentlemen's
agreement with 3-ABN not to raise this story, if they did not
spread about me the allegation of billing impropriety, but as
you know that allegation, I feel free to share my side with you.
But please do not spread it more broadly, only to those that
know of the allegation against me.
At the time this story surfaced in November, some church leaders
felt it was the clearest evidence thus far of corruption in Danny
Shelton's administration at 3ABN, thus topping even the
Glenn Dryden letter.
What Problems Did Nick Miller See?
So what sort of financial, operational, and personal problems with Danny Shelton's administration
had Nick Miller uncovered? We don't really know what all he was concerned about, except for
Danny allegedly trying to transfer property to Brandy Elswick before they were married, and allegedly channelling
money to Brandy through another non-profit, also before they were married, even though the 3ABN Board had
purportedly decided that Brandy should not be on 3ABN's payroll.
Sources in Thompsonville claim that Brandy herself repeatedly identified Cherie Peters' ministry as the
non-profit through whom 3ABN money was channelled contrary to the 3ABN Board's decision.
A Board That Refuses to Investigate
What we have here is an individual who has thought Linda Shelton was in the wrong, and that
the 3ABN Board did the right thing in her case. And yet he at the same time has a similar story: that
the 3ABN Board did not properly and fairly investigate the allegations against him and his
allegations against Danny. Thus we have the 3ABN Board allegedly failing to investigate
the following serious issues:
- The 2003 child molestation allegations against Tommy Shelton, with board chairman Walt Thompson still maintaining that he did an adequate investigation, even though he never contacted any of the alleged victims, their families, or the two ordaining associations that had given Tommy credentials.
- The 2004 infidelity allegations against Linda Shelton which led to her dismissal from 3ABN.
- The c. 2005 allegations raised by Nick Miller regarding Danny Shelton, allegations dealing with financial, operational, and some personal issues.
- The c. 2005 allegations raised by Danny Shelton regarding improper billing by Nick Miller, billing that allegedly had been signed off on a year earlier, billing that certainly must have been quite small compared to 3ABN's current legal expenses.
- The 2006-2007 allegations against Danny Shelton uncovered by Joy and Pickle, with Harold Lance and Walt Thompson spurning requests to appear before the 3ABN Board to share their concerns.
Perhaps one good thing that can come out of this whole sordid mess is that our readers may get a feel for
things that a board of directors should and should not do.