After presiding over the ouster of CEO Shed Boren, the Camillus House’s board chairman has taken over day-to-day operations of the homeless-services charity as acting chief executive, a spokesman confirmed Monday.
Bob Dickinson, the retired head of Carnival Cruise Lines who has been board chairman at Camillus for more than a decade, took over as the unpaid acting CEO of the Catholic charity last week, spokesman Sam Gil said. He said the appointment was made by the board’s executive committee, which Dickinson headed as chairman. Gil said Dickinson would not have voted on his own appointment.
The move comes less than three weeks after Boren was suspended from his post over allegations he created a hostile work environment at Camillus, which houses about 1,000 people a night at its Miami shelter and in rented residential apartments and homes across Miami-Dade.
Boren, hired to run Camillus House in early 2015, said the dispute stemmed in part from his questioning Dickinson about the chairman’s personal ties to the charity.
Camillus employs Dickinson’s longtime assistant from Carnival to provide secretarial duties related to Dickinson’s volunteer post at the charity. It also pays $47,000 a year for storage space at a building that’s co-owned by Dickinson and sits across the street from Camillus’ Miami shelter. Gil said the employee assigned to Dickinson also assists with planning Camillus events and fund-raising efforts, and that the Dickinson-owned building provides convenient storage for the charity.
When Dickinson announced Boren’s suspension in an email to board members on Oct. 1, he said lawyers were hired to investigate Boren’s managerial conduct and “other serious allegations.” Gil said Monday he wasn’t aware if the investigation had concluded but said Dickinson’s new post suggests the charity is getting closer to a resolution in the Boren dispute.
“What this tells us is it’s coming closer to a conclusion,” Gil said. Gil said Alan Greer, the Miami lawyer who served as vice chairman of the Camillus House board, took over Dickinson’s place as chairman.
Boren declined to comment. Dickinson did not respond to an interview request.
The Sept. 30 suspension of Boren revealed a stunning rift in the leadership of one of Miami-Dade’s top providers of beds and services to the county’s homeless population. The fallout has roiled the nonprofit. An Oct. 10 letter from the Camillus House committee that’s made up of homeless residents and others using the charity’s services urged Dickinson to retain Boren.
“In a little over eighteen months as Camillus CEO, Shed had transformed Camillus to create a uniquely compassionate environment,” read the letter from the Camillus House & Health Consumer Advisory Board. “We are troubled that this management dispute, as sensationalized in the local media, needlessly distracts from Camillus’s core mission of serving some of the most vulnerable and needy persons within Miami-Dade County.”
Boren actually holds two CEO posts at Camillus, a charity under the umbrella of the Catholic organization called the Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God. Along with CEO of Camillus House, he is CEO of Camillus Health, an independent medical-services provider for homeless people. Boren kept his post at Camillus Health after that charity’s board declined to follow the lead of its sister organization and suspend him.
Linda Quick, the former head of a hospital trade group who sits on both boards, said she had not been informed of Dickinson’s new post at Camillus House, which Gil said took effect last Wednesday.
“I guess they didn’t tell anybody other than their executive committee,” she said.