Franklin County commissioners mail message on tax dollars

Franklin County commissioners mail message on tax dollars

Franklin County commissioners mail message on tax dollars

The Franklin County commissioners have adopted a official resolution reminding the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium of its obligation to make sure the proper spending of taxpayer-authorized levy pounds.

It was a reprimand of sorts, following revelations introduced to light in March by The Dispatch about improper use of zoo sources by now-previous Columbus Zoo CEO and President Tom Stalf, now-former Main Economical Officer Greg Bell and two other former executives that value the zoo at minimum $631,000.

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Kevin Boyce

“Given what’s happened about the previous calendar year or so with regard to the zoo, we’re getting every motion that we can to guarantee that that does not materialize all over again and that we’re defending our contribution to the levy bucks to the zoo to the ideal of our talents,” Commissioner Kevin Boyce advised The Dispatch immediately after Tuesday’s meeting. “This makes it possible for us to proceed to be more deliberate about that oversight.”

Commissioner John O’Grady extra that “the nonpublic sector appointees to the (zoo) board need to be reminded that, in excess of the final 50 decades, almost $1 billion in taxpayer funds has been invested into the zoo… It is the community’s asset, and we do not want any person to forget about that.”

John O'Grady

Among the other difficulties, The Dispatch investigation uncovered that Stalf and Bell for decades sought tickets paid by the zoo’s marketing and advertising division so their family members could show up at many amusement gatherings for free. Both equally males also arranged for family users to are living in residences owned or controlled by the zoo and established the rental costs at under industry rates, the newspaper documented.  

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The findings prompted the zoo’s board of directors to employ an outdoors accounting company, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP to conduct a official audit evaluation of zoo investing and procedures.  Among other issues, the evaluation uncovered Stalf utilized zoo cash to purchase a leisure vehicle for his exclusive use and took it to Place-in-Bay on South Bass Island in Lake Erie for a family members excursion. He also individually picked the seller for a $2 million cabins development project at The Wilds, a non-public, non-income safari park and conservation center for wild animals near Cumberland in Muskingum County that is managed by the Columbus Zoo, and did not seek out aggressive bidding.