By Eberhart, George M.
American Libraries , Vol. 31, No. 4
City police are investigating the activities of the Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library's ex-finance director Don Dely, board President Richard Dougherty announced March 7. Meanwhile, the library is looking for ways to cover an apparently related $1.25-million deficit, confirmed by a financial audit in January, that dates back four years to when the library separated from the Ann Arbor school district.
Though no charges have been filed, police suspect that Dely used a library debit card to buy several thousand dollars worth of personal merchandise and services, including a dishwasher, vehicle repairs, an airline ticket, and computer equipment. He also apparently made $3,480 in questionable purchases through the Library Network Warehouse, a regional consortium that receives discounts from an office supply company, according to the March 8 Ann Arbor News.
The purchases were made over a two-year period ending only a few weeks before Dely resigned in November 1999. He had started work at the library in January 1996 as a consultant from the accounting firm of Plante and Moran. In 1997 he was hired as an associate director of the library, and later was named associate director of finance and administrative services.
The total amount that Dely might have spent falls short of the library's deficit, as calculated by independent financial consultant Robert Zimmerman. …