Columbus Zoo could sue to reclaim misspent funds
The Columbus Zoo is prepared to take legal action against former president and CEO Tom Stalf to reclaim the $432,000 it lost due his misspending.
- Meanwhile, two other employees involved in the financial scandal reached settlements with the zoo Wednesday afternoon, spokesperson Nicolle Gomez Racey tells Axios.
Why it matters: While the zoo is a nonprofit, about 20% of its yearly revenue comes from a Franklin County tax levy. The scandal has diminished the zoo's reputation and sparked a state investigation.
By the numbers: A forensic audit says the zoo lost at least $631,000.
- Former chief financial officer Greg Bell settled for $132,000 and former director of purchasing Tracy Murnane settled for $11,000, slightly lower than the amounts the audit says they misspent, Keith Shumate, president of the zoo's board of directors, tells Axios.
- The audit says former director of marketing Pete Fingerhut misspent $57,000. The zoo will take legal action against him too if necessary.
What they're saying: "We are still in discussions and we are hopeful that we can reach a settlement with them without legal action," Shumate says.
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