The Institute for Complexity Management (ICM) is a 501 (c) (3) charitable non-profit organization located in Frederick County, Maryland.  ICM is dedicated to solving intractable social issues including the improved safety of our children at community schools.  It was founded over a decade ago.

The Community Foundation of Frederick County (CFFC) is a community grant funding organization.  On their official web site they proclaim, “We act on behalf of those citizens who love this amazing area, and alongside those who want to ensure we leave a legacy of continued prosperity for generations to come.” 

Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) consists of 40,757 students at eleven (11) high schools, thirteen (13) middle schools and thirty-eight (38) elementary schools.  FCPS like other school systems across the country has a considerable history of school violence and other safety challenges.


For years a small non-profit organization in Frederick County, Maryland, worked tirelessly to find new ways to protect the safety of our children at school.  Their work was largely unfunded and completed only as the result of a group of people who volunteered their personal time and energy to make a difference for their community.  The small non-profit, known as the Institute for Complexity Management (ICM), was able to attract volunteers from the Army National Guard, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, teachers, police officers, firemen, medical personnel and a host of other emergency responders to create a whole new approach to protecting our kids at school.  Their work was based on an industry patent that allows you to project school safety incidents in advance so that they can be prevented and new ways to dramatically improve responses to the complete range of school safety emergencies. The technical term for the new technology is called predictive analytics.

In early 2015, they were finally ready to launch their new idea.  What they wanted to do is create a public-private partnership with industry so that their new risk management software could be provided at little to no cost to cash strapped public schools throughout Frederick County.  They started off by meeting with local political leaders, the Chamber of Commerce, the police chief of Frederick City, the Sheriff of Frederick County, and other emergency responders to explain how they felt they could help improve school safety at schools throughout Frederick County.

As part of their outreach efforts ICM also talked with local grant funding organizations in the community that might be interested in helping them to improve the safety of schools in Frederick County. Among the many calls and emails included the Director of Donor Services, Ms. Gayle Sutch, at the Community Foundation of Frederick County (CFFC).

But as the old adage goes, “No good deed goes unpunished.”  Based on their innocent request for information about the possibility of grant funds to help improve school safety, Ms. Sutch, wrote a “back channel” e-mail directly to the Chief Operating Officer of Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS), Ms. Ann Bonitatibus. The e-mail suggested that Dr. John Hnatio, the head of ICM was nothing but a charlatan attempting to fraudulently obtain grant funds.  What is so perplexing about Ms. Sutch’s “back channel” message is that she didn’t even bother to contact ICM to clary the situation before contacting senior decision makers at FCPS.

Left completely in the dark about Ms. Sutch’s allegations that he was engaging in grant fraud, Dr. Hnatio met with Mr. Cliff Cornwell the FCPS lead person for school safety.  Almost immediately Mr. Cornwell accused Dr. Hnatio of attempting to commit grant fraud as he referred to an e-mail written by Ms. Sutch.  Needless to say, Dr. Hnatio left the meeting with his integrity and character in the community completely shattered.

On April 29, 2015, CFFC was served with an Affidavit of Truth giving the organization 45 days to rebut the facts surrounding the CFFC’s libel and defamation of Dr. Hnatio’s character and integrity.  CFFC did not rebut any of the facts of this case making them dispositive and conclusive facts.  Dr. Hnatio is now pursuing a written apology from CFFC.  You are welcome to read the Affidavit of Truth by visiting the John Galt Program for Investigative studies at

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