The Arkansas Arts Center has informed the Little Rock Police Department that an audit it performed indicated that Rocky Nickles, fired in February from his job as deputy director of operations, used the Arts Center's credit card for personal expenses.
The Arts Center on Monday turned over the internal audit of its books its been conducting since last December to the Little Rock Police Department. Bob Birch, a spokesman for the Arts Center's board of directors, said in a news release that "there may have been some accounting irregularities," but added that they have nothing to do with the resignation of Executive Director Nan Plummer.
The police incident report said board chairman Robert Tucker said the misuse of the credit card use occurred between 2007 and 2009. No dollar amount was given in the incident report. We've been unable to reach Nickles.
The Arts Center, a city agency, is refusing to release its audit, in seeming violation of the state Freedom of Information Act. Birch said release would compromise the investigation. The police may withhold information it gathers during the course of an investigation, but a city agency has no such latitude on its own records.
Arkansas Arts Center’s Internal Audit Completed
(LITTLE ROCK, AR —July 20, 2010) After conducting a recent internal audit, the Arkansas Arts Center has voluntarily remitted documents to the Little Rock Police Department for further review.
“Our initial investigation indicated there may have been some accounting irregularities,” said Bob Birch. “However, the irregularities do not appear to have anything to do with Executive Director Nan Plummer’s recent resignation and are not considered material. No restatement of previous financials will be necessary as all costs associated with this situation have been previously reported in Arkansas Arts Center year-end audits. Last year’s costs will be reflected in the 2010 audit, due out in October.“ Birch referred all other questions to the Little Rock Police Department.
Founded in 1960, the Arkansas Arts Center is an art museum with a children's theatre and a studio school. Its mission is to ensure that learning, inspiration and creative expression in the arts flourish throughout Arkansas, for people of all ages and backgrounds. The AAC realizes this mission by developing, preserving and exhibiting its outstanding permanent collection, offering a rich variety of art from other collections and presenting programs for the education and cultural benefit of the public.