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Detroit Riverfront Conservancy CFO placed on leave as financial investigation gets underway

Detroit Riverwalk
Posted at 2:16 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 14:16:56-04

(WXYZ) — The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy's chief financial officer has been put on leave while a financial investigation is underway, according to the Conservancy chairman.

William Smith is listed as the CFO on the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy's website.

Matt Cullen, who is the chairman of the Board, said in a statement that he “became concerned about the accuracy of management reports and financial statements that had been provided to the Board of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.”

Cullen said after talking to the Board, they ordered an independent forensic audit by PwC and contacted the Honigman Law Firm.

“Based on Honigman’s recommendation, we have placed the Conservancy's Chief Financial Officer on leave. We also have forwarded financial records to the Michigan State Police and requested a criminal investigation. While this investigation is underway, I will be stepping in to oversee the Conservancy operations,” said Cullen in a statement.

He added that the project is moving ahead and that, “We owe it to our donors, other key stakeholders, and the entire Detroit community to be transparent and accountable about this situation – and that’s exactly what we will be.”

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s mission is to develop access on the Detroit International Riverfront.