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Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007 01:34 pm

Picking up the pieces

IAMG attempts to move forward after ouster of executive director

Untitled Document Three months after a suspension of operations and the layoff of four employees, including executive director Roy Williams, things are slowly returning to normal at the Illinois Association of Minorities in Government.      Members will receive a complete update on “key issues” facing the organization when its annual business meeting reconvenes in Normal on Saturday, according to a letter mailed last month.      With many state employees unsure whether they will be paid on time next week, attendance at the meeting is expected to be low, however.      Topics on the agenda include discussion of the association’s yearly audit, completed by  Springfield CPA firm Kerber, Eck & Braeckel, as well as an introduction of new and returning board members and officers, and “plans for the future, including the staffing of the IAMG office.”
     In their findings, auditors suggest that board members provide more complete board-meeting minutes and maintain more accurate financial records with respect to travel reimbursement and payments from attendees of the organization’s annual conference.      The report also addresses the awarding of scholarships to family members of IAMG staff and board members, noting that in 2004 one scholarship was given to the daughter of an unnamed board member.      Almost half of the organization’s revenues, which totaled $323,643, went toward advocacy in 2006; the remainder paid for education, fundraising, and administrative costs.     Williams, whose contract the board declined to renew in May amid accusations that he mishandled the association’s finances, believes that the report, which makes no mention of wrongdoing on his part, exonerates him.
     “I’m not in jail; no one’s arrested me. I’m still here,” he says.      Williams plans to attend the business meeting and press the board to explain why temp workers now occupy the IAMG office, located at 110 W. Edwards St., even though the board cited strained cash flow when it laid off three members of Williams’ staff.      Board member Jerrie Blakely, who has taken on the role of acting director, was unavailable for comment this week.      “They think I’m upset about me, but I’m really more upset about my staff,” Williams says.
     “I want the membership to hold the board accountable for its actions.”

Contact R.L. Nave at rnave@illinoistimes.com.
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