Saturday, December 31, 2005

VAPAF, Same As It Ever Was

In an effort to stave off mounting criticism of its methods and direction in mid-September 2005 the Virginia Performing Arts Foundation announced its most visible operative, CEO Brad Armstrong (pictured left), was taking a $100,000 pay-cut. The move soon proved fruitless -- too little, way too late. In the weeks after the announcement -- amid the noisy collapse of the scheme to furiously establish a four-live-stage-complex on the former-Thalhimers block by 2007 -- Armstrong resigned, to be effective at year’s end.

Now a new group appointed by Richmond Mayor Doug Wilder is working on a Plan B for the block. Meanwhile, what about that pay-cut, which was supposed to have been effective immediately? Given all that’s happened, can we trust the VAPAF to do what it says it will do? Hasn't its math to do with public funds gone fuzzy before? Who keeps track of such things?

For some answers, click on the title -- "Still Naughty" -- to learn more about what the prize-winning watchdogs at Save Richmond have found, once again using the Freedom of Information Act. A preview is below:

“...Soon to be former VAPAF President & CEO Brad Armstrong must have counted on Chairman Jim Ukrop to keep his stocking full of goodies this Christmas - because jolly ole St. Nick wouldn’t have gone anywhere near it (coal is waaaayyy to0 expensive these days). Through documents obtained by the Freedom of Information Act, it appears that Brad, Jim & Co. are still up to their same naughty games. Despite the public pronouncement above, it appears that Brad was paid far in excess of an annualized $175,000 for at least several months thereafter.

Now, how surprised will you be if you read next week that Brad Armstrong and former-Sheriff Michelle Mitchell have been spotted together on a swank beach on a Caribbean island that has no extradition agreement with the USA? Ba-da, bing...
(Photo Credit: F. T. Rea)