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CRVA Board Votes To Conduct Independent Audit Of Its Operations

Charlotte's tourism authority has decided to hire a company to conduct an audit of the group's operating policies and management in response to criticism over $100,000 in bonus payments to an employee. The CIAA conference provided the bonus money to a CRVA employee for her work on an annual basketball tournament in Charlotte. Last week, Mayor Anthony Foxx said he was frustrated with the visitor's association and called for an explanation of the bonus payments. The CRVA responded by calling a special meeting. It was a closed session to discuss the performance of an employee. That immediately raised questions about whether the authority's CEO Tim Newman was the subject of the meeting. But after two hours in closed session there was no reference to an employee. Vice-chairwoman Vi Lyles read a statement. It began with a list of the CRVA's accomplishments. Then, she read: "The Charlotte Mayor and city council requested that the CRVA Board examine the organization's structure and operations and take decisive actions that will restore the City's confidence in CRVA operations. As a board, we are eager to embrace that opportunity." The statement goes on to say the board has voted to hire an outside consultant to review the CRVA's operating policies concerning the negotiation of contracts and other financial arrangements and a review of the authority's organizational structure, including its management. The board expects to share its recommendations by the end of May, but did not reveal how much an audit is expected to cost. Board members wouldn't take any questions after the meeting. The CRVA still hasn't said whether $100,000 in bonus payments to an employee courtesy of the CIAA went against the group's own ethics policy. Newman and the CRVA have come under scrutiny over the past year. The NASCAR Hall of Fame, which the group manages, could lose $1.3 million this year due to low attendance. Newman's $300,000 income last year has also drawn criticism.