Charity director fired after money goes missing
Published Monday, November 19, 2012 1:38PM EST Last Updated Monday, November 19, 2012 6:16PM EST
The executive director of Ottawa’s Salvation Army Booth Centre has been fired after the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of dollars was discovered.
The charity says Perry Rowe has been let go after $240,000 was taken from its main downtown centre.
The Salvation Army first noticed the missing money two weeks ago and suspended Rowe with pay while an audit was performed.
"The Salvation Army has discovered that it has been a victim of fraud," said John Murray of the Salvation Army.
"Over the last few weeks it was brought to our attention that there were some financial irregularities at the Salvation Army Ottawa Booth Centre."
Rowe was fired on Monday after eight years as executive director.
"He was a straight shooter, you'd tell him what the problem was and he had an answer. So I don't understand," said Booth Centre client Paul O'Sullivan.
He is being replaced by Connie Woloschuk, who had served as executive director in the past.
Salvation Army, police still looking through books
The Salvation Army says the money was taken from its operating budget, not from fundraising campaigns.
The Booth Centre has hired a third-party accounting firm to search for any other financial irregularities and moving its accounting to its regional accounting office.
"This alleged fraud is specific to the Ottawa Booth Centre, it's contained here," Murray said.
"The reality is it's a challenging time because, with fraud of course. it represents a breach of trust - a breach of friendship, of leadership."
The news comes as the Salvation Army gets set to kick off its annual Christmas Kettle Campaign, with the alleged actions of one person not enougn to stop others from helping.
"That's unfortunate, but I don't think the brand should really be tarnished," said Adam Nihmey.
"It's not good to take from a charity, obviously, but I think people will continue to give," said Tara Haddrell.
Ottawa police are investigating.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's John Hua