Fresno Convention and
In California, the
Fresno Convention and Visitors Bureau is reviewing its financial
and operational policies after a former bookkeeper at the bureau
was charged with embezzling $56,000.
Deanna Gonzalez, the bureau employee
who allegedly used a company credit card and fraudulent company
checks for personal use in 2005 and 2006, pleaded not guilty to
grand theft in late March.
CVB executive director Wayne Bennett
said the bureau conducted a thorough review of its policies and has
already made some positive fixes. Approximately $100,000 worth of
debt, inherited when Bennett joined the bureau in fall 2005, has
been paid off, he said, and the bureau no longer uses corporate
But city council representative Jerry
Duncan doubts that the CVB should be allowed to continue to sell
convention business. “My concerns are primarily focused on the
current board and the lack of proper management,” he said.
Depending on how funds are allocated in
the mayor’s next budget proposal, due later this month, the city
could choose to put SMG, which manages the bureau and the
convention center, in charge of sales or “dissolve the CVB” and
“reform it under new board members and bylaws,” according to
The bureau’s bookings have not been
affected, Bennett said.