Michael Stratton is leaving Springfield’s Park District after an internal review revealed he authorized payments and incurred expenses without the knowledge or prior authorization of the District’s Board of Trustees.
Acting Exec. Dir. Derek Harms says that Mr. Stratton’s resignation has been accepted by the Board and is effective as of February 15th.
Harms says Stratton requested to be put on unpaid administrative leave on the 13th, after Board members “raised questions regarding recent payments made to Stratton from District funds”.
An internal review found Stratton put nearly $3,000 in Park District funds toward advances of his own salary, parking tickets, petty cash and dinners at two Chicago restaurants on January 25th and 26th. Those dates correspond with the “Soaring to New Heights” 2013 Illinois Parks Conference, hosted at Chicago’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. Stratton has since reimbursed the District.
Harms says he’ll stay on as Acting Executive Director as the Board performs a search for Stratton’s replacement.
CLICK HERE TO READ the official statement (.pdf)