The Richmond Register

March 22, 2013

EKU covered underpayments but did not seek return of arts center overpayments

By Bill Robinson
Register Editor

RICHMOND — After an internal audit discovered some production companies that staged shows at the EKU Center for the Arts were underpaid while others were overpaid, the university covered the underpayments.

However, it did not seek the return of the overpayments, EKU spokesperson Marc Whitt said Friday.

Overpayments of $46,622 and underpayments totaling $32,944 were cited in the audit included in 284 pages of documents the university released Thursday evening. The release followed an agreement the university reached in an open-records dispute over documents related to the employment of Debra Hoskins, former arts center director.

The audit claims Hoskins falsified invoices to calculate and to support settlement payments to production companies. It also stated that the center did not pay invoices in a timely manner.

Hoskins resigned in June 2012 in an agreement with the university days after it moved to dismiss her.

Shows by Peter Frampton, $8,590; Willie Nelson, $23,000; and a ballet company that staged a performance of The Nutcracker, $621, were underpaid, according to the audit.

The audit for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, was sent to EKU President Doug Whitlock by Beth Ballard, director of the university’s internal auditing office.

Auditors found instances of non-compliance with contract terms and with university policies related to gift acceptance, hiring, payment of expenses and handling of credit cards, Ballard wrote.

Box office desks were “inundated with slips of paper containing patron names, ticket request information and credit card numbers, the report stated.

However, Whitt said the university found that no credit card accounts had been compromised.

The Richmond Register published other revelations contained in the released documents in a March 22 news story.

The audit report also stated that a member of the center’s community operations board had received season tickets for its first year of operation, contrary to state law which requires members to serve without compensation.

It did not identify the board member, but the Register will be submitting an open-records request seeking to learn the identity.

Bill Robinson can be reached at editor@richmondregister.com or at 624-6690.