Florida Marriage Grant Project Director faces public scrutiny - 7/ 8/07
smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
Sun Jul 15 12:47:49 EDT 2007
- EISENBERG OF PAIRS: GRANT PROJECT DIRECTOR FACES SCRUTINY
As several of you who sent this article suggested: recipients of publicly
funded grants can expect to be treated as public figures open to questions
about their personal as well professional lives. - diane
Weston marriage instructor has had own problems
Weston man says he has learned from suits, divorce
By Jamie Malernee
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
July 8, 2007
> Tara Wall, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services
> Administration for Children & Families, which oversees the grant, said that as
> long as PAIRS is running the marriage programs effectively, the background of
> its managers and employees are not an issue.
He has been accused of fraud, sued by his parents and chased by creditors he
owed hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Now Seth Eisenberg, 45, leads a nearly $5 million, taxpayer-funded program
to teach South Floridians to maintain happy and healthy marriages.
Eisenberg, a divorced father of two, is grant project director of the PAIRS
Foundation, a nonprofit group founded by his mother that teaches
relationship skills. Many people in South Florida know him for his volunteer
work with children and the community. But court records show a man with
history of legal, marital and financial woes.
Eisenberg points out the criminal charge against him was dropped. He says
his other personal problems are long resolved and build his credibility as a
teacher and manager, that he can speak from experience about resolving
conflict and repairing relationships.
"We all go through relationship stuff, and it's not because anyone is broken
or defective. That's just life," said Eisenberg, of Weston. "My job is to
help more kids not have to go through the experience I had to, to grow up in
a two-parent home where they know what healthy conflict looks like and what
love looks like."
Among the challenges Eisenberg has faced in the past decade:
A 2003 lawsuit filed by a former employer who accused him of fraud,
stealing business leads and hacking into company computers. The lawsuit was
dropped after the parties reached an undisclosed agreement and a judge
barred Eisenberg from accessing company computers again.
A related 2003 arrest on a charge of unlawful computer access that was
dropped after he went through a pretrial program for people accused of a
A 2001 lawsuit filed by his parents, who tried to evict him from a home
they owned. Eisenberg and his parents reached an undisclosed settlement and
say they have put the disagreement behind them.
His bankruptcy, filed in 2005, when he owed creditors more than $350,000.
Eisenberg said he now makes $90,000 a year administering the grant, which
PAIRS received as part of a nationwide pro-marriage initiative promoted by
Tara Wall, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services
Administration for Children & Families, which oversees the grant, said that
as long as PAIRS is running the marriage programs effectively, the
background of its managers and employees are not an issue.
"It is up to the contractors to maintain a certain level of professionalism
in running the program," she said.
Interviews with community members and documents contained in court records
paint contradicting portraits of Eisenberg. . . .
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