Thursday, January 19, 2012

Brainard Does About Face On Libman

Just days after the release of an audit that found no wrongdoing by the former executive director of Carmel's Regional Performing Arts Center, Steven Libman, Mayor James Brainard has offered praise for the accomplishments of Libman during his short tenure and acknowledges that an audit looking into the nonprofit's financial affairs had been initiated by Libman before his departure. The Star provides the details on the written statement issued by Brainard:

In his statement Wednesday, Brainard sought to clarify his position on Libman after seeing what he said was the "sensational" focus of reporting on Libman's sudden resignation from the center last year and the details of the internal review.
Brainard said the focus on those details ignores the "pivotal role" that Libman played in developing the arts center and The Palladium, a task that was accomplished with little time to recruit a staff and put together a successful program, two challenges that Libman noted in an interview Tuesday with The Indianapolis Star.
"Mr. Libman hit the ground running and strategically assembled an excellent, competent staff of professionals, worked with the architects, acousticians and City officials, and collaborated with Artistic Director, Michael Feinstein, to develop outstanding programming for both the first and second seasons," Brainard said in the prepared statement.
The mayor said Libman's efforts also were key to securing "several large donations and pledges to the Center."
Brainard also sought to clarify that the financial audit was a regular annual audit that Libman initiated while still with the center. "(It was) not a special audit of any kind. To the extent that there are rumors or reports saying something different, they are not accurate," he said.
In response to Brainard's public praise of him, Libman told the Star the audit "wiped away the rumors and accusations" and [t]he gracious statement by Mayor Brainard closes the books." There had been hints that Libman might sue Brainard for defamation because of the public accusations he made against him after hiring a private investigator at taxpayers' expense to pry into his personal life. Brainard had relied on rumors to suggest Libman may have been misspending the nonprofit's money on an alleged mistress, a former employee of the nonprofit. In light of the statements issued by Brainard and Libman, it would seem the two have put their differences behind them and are moving on.

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