The Executive Committee of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board takes seriously its call to seek justice, build trust and bring clarity to concerns about financial oversight and management. We believe that no person or program is more important than our ethical principles and financial responsibility.
In response to our call and our belief, we met on Friday November 14, without staff present, and took the following actions:
- Authorized an independent investigation into the incorporation of PCNCI, Inc. and the transfer of $100,000 in funds to that corporation.
- Recommended to Linda Valentine, Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, that she place the four employees named in the audit report – Roger Dermody, Eric Hoey, Philip Lotspeich and Craig Williams – on administrative leave during the investigation with direction to fully cooperate with the investigation.
- Directed that the minutes of the Executive Committee be posted within 24 hours of the meeting.
We intend for the investigation to be conducted responsibly, thoroughly and without delay. The Executive Committee continues to be committed to fairness and due process for all employees, and will examine concerns about the ethics and personnel policies. We will seek ways to ensure healthy relationships and a positive, nurturing work environment for all employees.
We appreciate the good work of the Presbyterian Mission Agency staff and for the internal checks and controls that worked as intended. We are grateful to our Audit Committee for bringing this matter to light.
We recognize that this episode has created a breach of trust between the larger church, the Presbyterian Mission Agency and its Board. We mourn that breach, own it and will work hard to restore trust. What happened was serious, but it was not widespread. We commend all Presbyterian Mission Agency staff who make our common ministry vibrant, responsible, and life-giving. We are blessed with gifted and faithful staff and they will ensure that our important work and mission continue.
As a Board, we remain committed to the 1001 initiative and the energy and innovation it has triggered within the Church. At the same time, we renew our pledge and commitment to ensure that innovation and excitement are balanced and supported with the right skill sets, structure and oversight. This is an ongoing requirement – we have a responsibility to ensure that funds entrusted to us are used appropriately. We take that trust and that responsibility very seriously.
We appreciate all of the feedback received; we will listen carefully as we chart our shared future work together.
Marilyn Gamm, Chair
Jo Stewart, Vice Chair
James Ephraim, Jr.