In response to an FOI, the Arkansas Arts Center released today a several-hundred-page audit today of expenses charged to the Arts Center by its former operations manager, Rocky Nickles, that it turned over to the LRPD yesterday. Nickles was fired in February.
The audit covers the years 2007 to 2009. Arts Center's board chair Bobby Tucker expressed the Arts Center's conclusions from the audit to the police verbally, rather than in a document, an Arts Center spokesperson said.
Tucker could not be reached today to reveal what he told police. We have a call in to Arts Center lawyer Phil Kaplan.
The credit charges include travel, lodging, meals and purchases for the gift shop. Board member Bob Birch said that out of $378,684 in charges, the Arts Center is questioning $8,506.91 it categorizes as "personal" and $27,665.75 in charges for which there are no receipts. The audit summary also includes $23,107.07 in a category called "unknown."
Tucker said in April that the board fired Nickles because members weren't satisfied with answers he was providing on the state of the Arts Center's finances. The Arts Center ended its fiscal year June 30 $1.7 million in debt.