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New Devolopments…

October 14, 2010

It appears that I was wrong concerning the Buffalo Arts Council misappropriation of funds story. According to a close source, the person involved spent above and beyond her entertainment budget without the receipts to back up the expenses. I’m reevaluating the situation and turning the facts over in my head.

The previous post, however, received a lot of positive replies and affirmations regarding the other topics presented. 

One Buffalo writer wrote that ‘This needed to be said. Please submit it to the Buffalo News as a My View. My guess is they don’t have the stones to publish it.’  So I did just that.  We’ll see if it runs in the next week and since it is topical, there’s a good chance it might.

A prominent local television host wrote that  ‘I have noticed exactly this since moving back here in 1991. I have exposed it in zines, tv & radio shows for years. This observation is correct. I know from being one of the “excluded”…’

A close source wrote me with the new facts.  According to them, ‘(this individual’s) job was to represent the whole arts community by going to conferences, meeting with funding agencies, and overseeing the day to day operations of the Arts Council, in other words “mind the store”.  She was renting a car and going to art conferences and paying the entry fee (saving her receipts). Buying office supplies (saving her receipts). The problem was she was OVERSPENDING the amount allowed in the budget. ‘

‘…They called in the District Attorney’s office. Somehow the Buffalo News erroneously reported that she had a gambling problem. (This individual) showed up in court, produced the receipts from every expenditure, the DA pointed out that she should have known she was going over budget and not “hidden” it from the board. It was her job to “mind the store”. The judge put her on probation and told her she must pay back all the money she spent without board approval.’

And another person involved in the arts in Buffalo wrote simply, ‘Preach on, brotha man!’

As a journalist, the facts should have been checked.  Thank you all for your emails and your opinions on the elitist nature of the arts scene in Buffalo as well as the hidden truth behind such a sensational story.  I’m not sure if overspending an allotted budget somehow makes the situation morally better than gambling it away because that seems like a pretty large margin of error, but at least we’re a bit more informed. 

I apologize for the oversight,

Tom Waters

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