Evansville Parks Director resigns amid police investigation

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — A key member of Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke’s administration resigned on Monday amid a police investigation.

Evansville Parks & Recreation Department Director Brian Holtz’s resignation comes amid news that the city’s finance department alerted Mayor Winnecke on Tuesday of two parks department invoices that looked out of the “ordinary.”

“After examining the invoices and hearing the description of the financial departments internal review, I thought it was appropriate to ask the Evansville Police Department to work with the financial department to further investigate these invoices,” Mayor Winnecke told reporters during a Monday news conference.

Mayor Winnecke said he asked for a further investigation which revealed five additional questionable invoices.

“At this time police have found no evidence of missing city money,” said Winnecke.

An independent outside auditor will be brought in to vet the invoices. The mayor said the state board of accounts has also been notified.

“The lack of clarity in the matter has impacted my confidence in the management of the parks department,” Winnecke said. “It’s very personal and I’m very disappointed.”

Winnecke said he has lost faith in Holtz as director and accepted his resignation. The mayor said he has notified City Council members and the Parks Board President.

“I think it is important to stress all normally scheduled activities at the parks and recreation department will continue,” Winnecke said.

Winnecke said he could not provide a total monetary estimate of the invoices. He said there is no timeline on when the investigation will be completed.

Deputy Mayor Steve Schaefer will serve in the interim as acting parks director until a permanent replacement can be appointed.

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