Arts Center woes | Rock Candy

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Arts Center woes

Posted By on Thu, Jul 22, 2010 at 1:42 PM

When one of your employees doesn't turn in receipts for $27,000 plus, and spends more than $8,000 on things that appear to be personal — like luggage, you've got a problem with oversight.
That's the Arts Center story today.
Rocky Nickles, the deputy director of operations for the Arts Center who was fired in February, put $378,684.05 in charges on the Arts Center's credit card from 2007 to 2009. Of that $287,955.15 looks like Arts Center expenses. Auditors who examined the charges said another $27,511 was for lunches, $3,938.05 for gas, $8,506.91 personal, $27,665.75 had no receipts and $27,107.07 they deemed "unknown."
The audit was turned over to police on Tuesday.
Bob Birch said today that under proper Arts Center procedure, the charges would have been provided former Executive Director Nan Plummer for approval. Birch said police will determine whether they were. Plummer resigned in April. Perhaps now we know why — she realized she had not kept close enough tabs on her employee, at a cost to the Arts Center.

Some of the charges that the staff could not confirm as appropriately charged to the institution included luggage from J.C. Penney ($84.42), groceries from Kroger ($28.29), toffee from Hammond's Candies in Denver ($109.79), six vinyl windows ($935.17), frames from Hobby Lobby ($202.94), and an $881.20 charge to Tommy's Country Meats, which Nickles said was for a staff lunch.
Nickles may have a legitimate explanation for all of it. Efforts to contact him have been unsuccessful. But charges without receipts?
Meanwhile, the Arts Center was bleeding red ink from its Pharaohs exhibit. It ended the year $1.7 million in debt.

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