Shockey: Alleged Breckenridge Festival of Film embezzlement raises hard questions
November 26, 2013
I read with dismay the story concerning alleged theft from the Breckenridge Festival of Film by its executive director.
Summit County is blessed with individuals that give willingly of their time and money to support nonprofit institutions, from FIRC, BOEC, Advocates, LAPS, the churches in the county and many other institutions. Because of them, Summit County is a richer, better place to live.
In this situation, though, I do have to disagree about the "victims." I don't think the boards of directors are the victims. If they (the boards and the board members) did not live up to their fiduciary responsibilities, provide oversight, direction and ask questions, they're not victims. Their behavior supported the years of financial misconduct. Boards and board members have the right and the obligation to ask questions of whomever is handling the finances. They have the right and obligation to examine the books, the bank statements and financial transaction. The board has the right and obligation to have oversight and double checks in this area.
The victims are the individuals and businesses who donated time, talent and money to support the Breckenridge Film Festival. The victims are the patrons of the Breckenridge Film Festival who could have had richer or broader experiences. The victims are the other nonprofits and their boards who now will have to face skepticism and closer examinations of their programs and their financial standards and practices. About the only ones who will profit from this will be the CPA firms that will be doing audits of the finances and practices of non profits.
It will be a long, hard and uncomfortable road to credibility and honesty for the current board of directors. I wish them well.
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