Glenwood Springs police investigate Center for the Arts finances | AspenTimes.com

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Glenwood Springs police investigate Center for the Arts finances

The Glenwood Springs Police Department is in the midst of an investigation involving finances at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts, coming on the heels of the resignation of the center’s executive director, Christina Brusig.

Police Chief Terry Wilson said Tuesday that the probe might take several weeks and that he could provide no details because it’s an open investigation.

The Post Independent was referred to Wilson when it asked the art center board president and City Attorney Karl Hanlon about Brusig’s resignation.

“I wouldn’t say [the investigation] has to do with Brusig’s resigning, that’s a stretch, but would say definitely involves the art center,” he said. He added that the case is in its early stages, with his department starting to look into it only about a week ago.

Brusig, who resigned April 5, said she knew nothing about an investigation. She expressed dismay that questions about her resignation were being referred to the police chief.

Brusig said that she did not know what any investigation might be about and that she hasn’t been contacted by anyone at the police department.

“Why there would be police involved at the art center at all blows me away,” she said.

She called her resignation a mutual decision between herself and the art center’s board. After nine years at the Center for the Arts and three as director, she said she wasn’t receiving the kind of support from the board that she needed.

“I needed to move on, to seek a more balanced job for myself,” said Brusig, who added that she was working “tireless hours” as a single mother with a young son.

“I think it had been coming for a couple of months just because of the workload I had,” she said. With last year’s flood of the art center, with fundraising and other struggles, Brusig said these were hard challenges to overcome “if you don’t have people helping you the way you need.”

“I’m heartbroken over the whole thing. I was doing really great things for this community and wish the board could have helped me more,” she said.

Kate McRaith, the art center’s board president, said she couldn’t legally talk about the situation because it was a personnel issue.

In a statement released later Tuesday, she said, “Classes are moving forward, and we’re on track with our May 12 and 13 event, ‘Dancers Dancing,’ celebrating 25 years of the Art Center’s award-winning dance program. We look forward to continuing the work of this great organization.”

McRaith added that the center has appointed two interim co-executive directors, art teacher Terry Muldoon and Director of Dance Maurine Taufer, to run operations with the help of Assistant Director Brie Carmer.

Brusig was technically a city employee, with about $50,000 from the city paying for her salary. She was eligible for city benefits.

Hanlon said personnel decisions fall to the art center’s board. The city attorney said this is an awkward arrangement that the city should probably look at changing in the future.

Police Chief Wilson said, “It’s very likely to be multiple weeks before we’re prepared to discuss this matter any further. But I feel that what we’re doing is pretty important and 100 percent in the public interest.”