Dear fellow SPJ members,
I am writing to inform you that Region 8 Director Scott Cooper has resigned his position on our national board this week amid allegations of unauthorized use of the Oklahoma Pro chapter's checking account.
Earlier this week, the Oklahoma chapter's board of directors released this statement on their investigation into this matter. Cooper resigned as treasurer of the Oklahoma chapter late last week.
Our staff has been in touch with the Oklahoma chapter leaders to find ways we can be supportive during this period. It is worth noting that the funds in question are from a local chapter account and do not involve any national SPJ funds.
I view this as a serious matter. As a result, I've appointed a three-person committee to be chaired by President-elect Sonny Albarado to conduct a fact-finding investigation and report back to the national board. Specifically, I've tasked this committee with finding ways to help local chapters improve safeguards and financial procedures so that an incident like this never happens again.
I plan to convene a meeting of SPJ's executive committee within a few days to discuss this matter, with a full national board meeting to follow.
Meanwhile, we will solicit potential candidates to fill this vacancy on an interim basis so that our members in Region 8 are represented on the national board.
Society of Professional Journalists