State Attorney Bill Eddins has announced that his office has determined that criminal charges are appropriate regarding the Arts Council of Northwest Florida. The non-profit is being charged with two counts of making false official statements.
The State Attorney’s investigation found that for at least the past seven years it had been a regular practice of the Arts Council to hold checks to both suppliers and arts organizations until additional funds were available. The practice was known by several current and former Arts Council board members, as well as some local arts organizations. This practice predated the current Executive Director and Business Manager. The Arts Council has had four Executive Directors over that period (2004-2009).
The State Attorney found no evidence that any individual misappropriated any funds to their own use.
The arraignment in this case has been scheduled for April 29 at 8:30 a.m. before Judge David Ackerman.