Liset Marquez, Staff Writer
Created: 07/19/2012 06:53:10 PM PDT
ONTARIO – An SMG World official wrote that misconduct by the former CEO of the city’s Convention Center “thwarted normal SMG control procedures.”
A letter sent from SMG World to Ontario city officials on Thursday said there had been violations of policy and “business conduct” at the Convention Center.
The findings of an investigative audit performed by Pennsylvania-based SMG World, which operates the center, led to a mass exodus of key management staff on Wednesday, including the center’s general manager and CEO Bob Brown.
“These violations were exacerbated by a culture perpetuated by Mr. Brown which fostered a blatant disregard of established policies by certain Center staff,” Bob McClintock, senior vice president of SMG World, wrote to City Manger Chris Hughes.
McClintock did not go into much detail in the letter regarding the findings of the audit.
As of Thursday, Ontario officials, including members of the City Council, acknowledged they have not seen the audit.
“We’re still pretty much in the dark,” Councilwoman Sheila Mautz said.
McClintock said there were a series of violations at the center regarding business conduct, policy and procedures.
Clemmie Taylor, director of operations, and Delana Grande, human resources manager, also submitted their resignations Wednesday to SMG World. Sue Dang, director of finance, has also been let go.
McClintock assured Ontario officials that a regional facility accounting manager from SMG will meet with the Convention Center’s finance staff on a monthly basis to ensure the facility is in compliance with the company’s policies and procedures.
He said SMG World officials have retrained Convention Center staffers on the company’s business conduct policy.
Since the launch of the investigation, SMG has assigned Traycee Mayer to handle the day-to-day operations of the facility. Mayer has been the center’s assistant general manager and national director of convention development and tourism since November.
But in the letter, McClintock said the Convention Center’s management team is reporting to John Adams, senior regional vice president.
SMG officials said the company will pay for any costs associated with filling the four vacancies.
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