IBJNews

Financial review questions some spending at Carmel arts center

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel expects to lose about $400,000 from hosting a taping of the PBS program “The Sinatra Legacy.”

The television show was recorded last March. It's one of the activities the board of directors reviewed after former CEO Steven Libman resigned last summer.

The review—which was made available to the public, along with an annual audit, on Tuesday morning—appears to confirm the allegation that an employee Libman was dating went with him on business trips at the center’s expense.

Libman cited personal reasons when he resigned after signing a five-year contract extension. It was later revealed that a private investigator, hired by Mayor Jim Brainard, had uncovered Libman’s interoffice relationship.

The review has been complete for several months, but interim CEO Frank Basile held off on its release pending an annual audit. The hang-up on the audit was a disagreement with accountants Blue & Co. over the valuation of the center’s 50-year, rent-free lease from the Carmel Redevelopment Authority. The accountants believed that should be listed as an asset, but Basile said the board of directors thinks otherwise.

Since Libman’s resignation, the center has set up a number of controls on spending and approving contracts. The review also said there’s a new personnel policy that deals with employees’ romantic relationships.

The review found that the center committed to spending about $700,000 on the PBS special without seeking board approval. “It now appears this project will result in a net loss to the center of about $400,000,” according to the review, signed by board Chairman Rollin Dick.

The center now requires employees to submit expenses for reimbursement, and the CEO’s expenses must be approved by the board treasurer.

The review found that one employee “did not routinely prepare her own expense report to support her own airfare or hotel charges that were billed on her Center-sponsored credit card.”

The review found that the unnamed employee accompanied the CEO on trips to New York in October and December of 2010 and January and March of 2011, spending $1,193.60 on airfare.

Basile said he could not name the employee because of confidentiality agreements signed with Libman and others.

The review also found that contracts with performers were negotiated by one person and did not come with any documentation to justify the expense, or forecast revenue. Basile has since set up a new process for negotiating and finalizing artist contracts.

The audit shows that when not counting donations that will be paid at a future date, the center ended the 2011 fiscal year about $437,000 in the red.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Get Facts Right
    You forgot to count the $2.3M that taxpayers gave them to cover expenses. If you include that they lost $2.7M for the year ending June 31, 2011.
  • Question
    I do not live in Carmel, but certainly DO want the Centre to succeed. I do wonder, though, about a loss of $400,000 due to a PBS special that was mainly a showcase for the Artistic Director - Michael Feinstein. The audit doesn't seem to address this relationship, so I wonder if I am the only one who finds this curious.
  • question

    The audit (linked off of http://www.thecenterfortheperformingarts.org at
    http://c3105115.r15.cf2.rackcdn.com/2011%20CFPA%20Audit.pdf) doesn't seem to include any costs for setting aside funds for future building upkeep.

    Is the center management not responsible for upkeep of the building going forward or is that a future liability for the city (in addition to the operating subsidy they are already paying out which is listed in the audit data)?
  • can you read?
    well, if you would have read it thouroughly, you would have noticed that was 4 (four) trips to NY. October and December 2010 and January and March 2011.
  • can you read?
    well, if you would have read it thouroughly, you would have noticed that was 4 (four) trips to NY. October and December 2010 and January and March 2011.
  • What the ???
    Hmmm, $1200 on airfare for a trip to New York. What were they flying on, the Concorde?

    I can't understand why that would raise any eyebrows?

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. Can your dog sign a marriage license or personally state that he wishes to join you in a legal union? If not then no, you cannot marry him. When you teach him to read, write, and speak a discernible language, then maybe you'll have a reasonable argument. Thanks for playing!

    2. Look no further than Mike Rowe, the former host of dirty jobs, who was also a classically trained singer.

    3. Current law states income taxes are paid to the county of residence not county of income source. The most likely scenario would be some alteration of the income tax distribution formula so money earned in Marion co. would go to Marion Co by residents of other counties would partially be distributed to Marion co. as opposed to now where the entirety is held by the resident's county.

    4. This is more same-old, same-old from a new generation of non-progressive 'progressives and fear mongers. One only needs to look at the economic havoc being experienced in California to understand the effect of drought on economies and people's lives. The same mindset in California turned a blind eye to the growth of population and water needs in California, defeating proposal after proposal to build reservoirs, improve water storage and delivery infrastructure...and the price now being paid for putting the demands of a raucous minority ahead of the needs of many. Some people never, never learn..

    5. I wonder if I can marry him too? Considering we are both males, wouldn't that be a same sex marriage as well? If they don't honor it, I'll scream discrimination just like all these people have....

    ADVERTISEMENT