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January 28, 2013

New Albany bicentennial board to use private bookkeeper

Records and expenditures questioned for 2012 event



The committee focused on events with re-enactors  who would help tell New Albany’s history while dressed in clothing from different eras. The group organized a style show and the first Stories Behind the Stones event in September 2011. 

Zoller said both events were successful, and thus they were slated and held again in 2012 and are also planned for 2013.    

“The Living History Committee made their money and paid their bills with that money,” Zoller said in reference to expenses for the style show and Stories Behind the Stones. “So we’ve not used any city funds, or funds that were sitting in the bicentennial checkbook.” 

But there have been venues reserved and other expenses paid by personal checks, including ones written by Zoller’s sister, Patty Hughes. Zoller said that in some cases people had to pay to rent venues out of their own pocket, and that the Living History Committee reimbursed them once proceeds were collected. 

“All of our financial documents have been turned in,” Zoller said. “We have a receipt for everything that’s been spent.”

However, Megenity said he’s yet to see all the receipts.

“We have proof that $1,700 from Stories Behind the Stones in 2012 has not been accounted for,” Megenity said. “We asked [Zoller] for receipts and the accounting of that money, she flat out said ‘no, I’m not going to do it.’”

Megenity said he’s met with Caesar, Gahan and commission Co-Chair Shelle England over the issue, but the situation hasn’t been rectified.

He said he presented Gahan with nine violations of a nonprofit agency related to the Stories Behind the Stones event from last year.

During a public commission meeting last week, it was mentioned that only the treasurer is allowed to pay for expenses in a nonprofit. Additionally, claims have to be approved by the commission before they can be paid for out of bicentennial funds. 

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