Thursday, January 22, 2009

FDP and the Fuzzy Math Festival

We have contacted two different former board members of the now defunct Fayetteville Downtown Partners, Inc., and neither of them can or will tell us what happened to the $20,000 that was supposed to be reserved for supporting the 2009 Fayetteville Arts Festival. It is high time that the City demand an accounting of the money unanimously appropriated for the 2008 contract with FDP to organize and promote the festival. Was that Kit Williams-drafted contract just another no strings gift to nonperforming partners?

This may all be moot, if the Internal Revenue Service comes asking about unpaid taxes. The latest IRS Form 990, filed by the FDP in August 2008, lists Daniel Keeley as President and custodian of the corporate records. It is also interesting that FDP reported net assets of -$23,962 at the end of 2007, then Mr. Keeley was quoted in the newspaper in September as saying that FDP had banked $20,000. We still have no clue where this money went, and no one is talking.

What we do know is that the Arkansas Secretary of State reports that the Fayetteville Downtown Partners, Inc. has been dissolved. We also know that the FDP website still claims that the group is a nonprofit organization (we assume they mean legally as well as in obvious fact), and they are still soliciting online donations.

We are not accusing anyone of fraud, but we think Mr. Keeley and his former board owe the public answers and an accounting of the public funds. If there is a legitimate explanation, let's have it. We don't have subpoena powers to get the answers, but we know who does.

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