|City of Aspen Cooperating with DA on Investigation into Theft at the Red Brick Council for the Arts|
City of Aspen Cooperating with DA on Investigation into Theft at the Red Brick Council for the Arts
Aspen, Colorado –September 29, 2017 – The City of Aspen is cooperating with an ongoing investigation that the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office is conducting regarding alleged theft at the Red Brick Council for the Arts by its former director, Angela Marasco Callen.
In June 2017, members of the Red Brick Council for the Arts Board alerted the City of suspected financial mismanagement at the non-profit organization. Upon this discovery, the Board and the City of Aspen together hired accounting firm McMahan and Associates, LLC to conduct a forensic accounting audit of the Red Brick’s finances, which uncovered what may be in excess of $150,000 of unauthorized expenses from operating and non-operating bank accounts, yet specific details and exact numbers are still subject to investigation.
Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, the City of Aspen cannot comment further but is diligently reviewing all the finances of the Red Brick Council for the Arts and the controls that were in place for the organization’s financial oversight.
Aspen City Manager Steve Barwick says, “In addition to the criminal investigation, the City is reviewing, via the third-party accounting firm, all records from 2015-2017. The Red Brick Center for the Arts is a valued community non-profit and the City looks forward to a continued working relationship and supporting the artists who work there every day.”
With agreement from the Red Brick Council Board, the City has pulled the operating and reserve accounts from the Red Brick and will now pay operating costs directly until a new agreement between the two entities can be arranged.
The City of Aspen is the owner of the Red Brick building and has a contract with the Red Brick Council for the Arts to manage the Red Brick Center’s building and operations.
The funds allegedly misappropriated represent, rent, taxpayer money, and some funds from the non-profit that came from grants, earned income and donations. The City takes the criminal investigation very seriously. The Red Brick Council for the Arts is currently being managed by an interim director.
It is suspected that the alleged theft began in 2015.
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2017