Q: Why was Jackie removed from TFVC?
A: Texans for Vaccine Choice has removed Jackie Schlegel from the Board of Directors and as Executive Director of our organization.
Many members and staff have noticed TFVC reversing from effectively advocating for medical freedom in Texas, and characterized the group as “heading in a new direction.” Those changes became more drastic in recent weeks.
A Member of the 501c3 (Texans for Vaccine Freedom) Board of Directors and a member of the 501c4 (Texans for Vaccine Choice) Board of Directors spoke with Jackie in a conference call. She made it clear that if either Board wanted to return to the original mission, they would have to fire her consultant (which she wouldn’t allow) and the respective Boards would have to fire her as well.
Official board meetings for both the 501c4 (Texans for Vaccine Choice) and the 501c3 (Texans for Vaccine Freedom) were set. Many options were on the table for the 501c4 board meeting, including up to a full year of paid bereavement leave for Jackie, giving her time to grieve a close personal loss.
The night before that meeting a transfer of $116,000 (80% of all TFVC funds), was initiated by Jackie, attempting to transfer funds from an entity she might not control in less than a day, Texans for Vaccine Choice, to one she knew she would, Texans for Vaccine Freedom. Moving funds in this manner had not been done before at TVFC, and no notice was given to staff or the other two members of the TFVC Board as is required for a major transaction.
After this breach of trust, the TFVC Board held an emergency meeting to remove Jackie and reversed the pending transfer. Failure to act could have left the Board vulnerable to charges of fraud.
Q: What was Jackie’s “new direction”?
A: Most notably, TFVC would not stand with countless groups in Texas calling for a fourth special session to end vaccine mandates. The TFVC Board and staff, after Jackie’s removal, sent the emails and calls to action for a fourth special session you may have received or seen on social media.
The new direction also included only calling out Democrats who failed to support medical freedom. Republicans, regardless of if they supported our mission, were off limits to criticism. The current TFVC Board believes this is an ineffective strategy and one that is antithetical to TFVC’s original non-partisan mission of always telling the truth.
Additionally, and unfortunately, Jackie also refused to stand up and post the stories of TFVC members who had lost their jobs and their livelihoods because it would look like “a bunch of anti-vaxers running around poking big business in the chest.”
Consultants, even if they aren’t currently conflicted, are always looking for opportunities. This perversion of incentives is not good for any advocacy organization, and we’ll protect against this set of circumstances.
Donors to TFVC also anticipate their donations are going to be used to advocate for sound public policy at the Texas capitol. Jackie and her consultant made plans to use funds to expand into Florida and California, without permission of the TFVC Board, instead of addressing the urgent needs of Texans losing their jobs due to mandates.
Q: Has a Temporary Restraining Order against Jackie been issued?
Per our original Q&A, seeking legal redress was not a first step but was only pursued after 1) Schlegel broke her word and 2) her consultant said legal counsel should be ignored when a cease and desist letter was issued.
Update: TFVC was compelled to seek the TRO against Jackie Schlegel and TFVF to protect TFVC’s resources from misuse. That process ended in an agreement between the parties and an Agreed TRO that was also signed by the court. It restricted Jackie from taking actions to “communicate with current or prospective members, donors, and volunteers in an attempt to rebrand, rename, or otherwise cause confusion in reference to the identity, leadership, and mission as for and between Texans for Vaccine Choice and Texans for Vaccine Freedom.”
Before the TRO expired, the parties entered into an agreement intended to extend the provisions of the TRO until mediation. That agreement addressed many things, including the return of TFVC’s property and an agreement that Jackie would not post to the TFVC Facebook page.
Sadly, Jackie has refused to honor her side of the agreement. And frustratingly, so far the court has refused to enforce the agreement against her on procedural grounds. We hoped the agreement would allow a swift resolution of this matter but there has so far not been sufficient cooperation to allow that to happen.
Q: Who is running TFVC now?
A: Know that TFVC is in good hands.
Three weeks ago, almost all the staff resigned from TFVF but have returned under TFVC with the understanding that the organization will put the citizens of Texas, our members, and our supporters first in all we do.
Describing TFVC staff as anything but reasonable and passionate about the cause of medical freedom is inaccurate.
Texans for Vaccine Choice is not one person, it is each and every one of you who has become a member, given a donation, attended a rally, or supported the right to choose what we inject (or don’t) into our bodies.
Q: What’s next?
A: The current Board of Directors and staff of TFVC believe Governor Abbott should call an immediate fourth special session and that all lawmakers, regardless of party, should be held accountable for their failures.
The TFVC Board and staff believe that a health freedom organization in Texas focused solely on the bad behavior of Democrats while Republican lawmakers vote against and stall the interests of TFVC members and supporters is an ineffective organization. TFVC will not give cover to any elected official who does not support medical freedom.
We believe that the stories of our members who face the decision between their job and vaccination and those who have already lost their jobs and livelihoods should be told. The new leadership will stand by our loyal supporters and share these stories. We do not bow to big business.
We heard your cries for TFVC to step up and we have taken the actions necessary to do just that. We will fight to regain your trust and thank you for your continued support.
Q: Wasn’t the fund transfers normal?
A: In short, no.
Playing fast and loose with donations to non-profits is ill-advised. When donors give to a cause and anticipate a group to fight, that’s what should happen.
Until the transfer of $116,000 (80% of all TFVC funds) was made by Jackie no transfer of over $100 had been made between Texans for Vaccine Choice and Texans for Vaccine Freedom.
The new leadership of TFVC will respect donors by keeping to the mission at hand, not draining bank accounts to double back and refill coffers.
Q: Why wait to release a statement?
A: It was the intent of the board to reach a resolution privately and preserve relationships in the process. The volume of conjecture, inaccurate, and inane speculation on social media is unfortunate but predictable. We look forward to a speedy resolution of these internal dealings but in the meantime will be vigorously pursuing informed consent, medical privacy, and vaccine choice for all Texans.
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