published: Friday, June 15, 2012
Board confirms firing of EDC director Anderson
By ED BALDRIDGE
AVON PARK - The Industrial Development Agency/Economic Development Commission board voted unanimously to terminate Executive Director Kristina Anderson Wednesday morning.
According to County Commissioner Board Chairman Jack Richie, the executive board voted on Monday at 8:30 a.m. to terminate Anderson for alleged improper behavior.
"Dr. (Norm) Stephens pointed out this morning that the vote of the executive board was sufficient, but we wanted to make sure the entire board was aware of the situation," Richie said.
Richie sits as the county commission liaison for the IDA/EDC.
IDA/EDC Board Vice-president Norm Stephens, president of South Florida Community College, stated in a memo dated June 11 that he was made aware of "matters regarding the performance of duties" assigned to Anderson.
In his memo, Stephens alleged that "inappropriate and unauthorized expenditures" had occurred and EDC funds were acquired by Anderson for "personal use."
Stephens also stated in his memo that Anderson had an "excessive and unauthorized absenteeism," had "neglected assigned duties" and had mismanaged "personnel and operations with the intent to deceive the board."
Stephens called for an immediate audit of all IDA/EDC expenditures and the termination of Anderson during an executive board meeting on Monday.
IDA/EDC board president Paul McGahee said on Thursday that it was unclear if criminal charges would be filed.
"I don't know. I do know that the executive board has the authority to terminate the contract with Mrs. Anderson, but I thought it would be more appropriate to share the decision with the entire board. The vote was unanimous for termination," McGahee said.
"I can tell you that Mrs. Anderson advised us that she has retained an attorney, but we have had no notice of that to my knowledge," McGahee added.
McGahee also agreed that an audit was necessary to determine the extent of any issues, but stated he has not seen any receipts or documents that confirm Stephens' accusations.
The IDA/EDC board did name Eva Cooper-Hateman as the interim director, but the board has not had discussions about when to start the search for another director.
"We are entrusted with making sure we take our responsibilities concerning the IDA/EDC very seriously. We have to do everything we can to protect that trust," McGahee said.
Anderson could not be reached for comment at press time.
IDA-EDC (by: Dotquirky - 6/16/2012)
Paul, Dr.Stephens and the others are all good people but maybe they put to much in the evidence of a degree vs. content of charactor and work ethics.
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