EDINA (WCCO) — An Edina Football Association board member is accused of stealing $75,000 from the organization.

The youth football league sent a letter to parents last week, alerting them to the situation. The money was allegedly taken in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

Board members noticed the budget getting tighter those years, so they decided to take a closer look. They say that’s when they discovered that a fellow board member had taken the money.

“We came to our board member, explained to him what we had found, and gave him an opportunity to explain himself. Ultimately, we said, this is what you owe us,” said Don Hasbargen, an EFA Board Member.

The board member did pay the money back. Police are also investigating. The board says the investigation will not lead to increased fees or changes for the players or their families.

EFA’s Letter To Families

“Dear EFA Families and Friends,

This is not information we wish to be reporting to you, but the EFA Board felt it was important that you hear about it directly from us.

In the course of our normal officer transition activities, we began to notice financial discrepancies from previous years. Our incoming treasurer investigated and reported what he found to the current treasurer, president and incoming president. As the investigations continued, we created an ad hoc committee to manage the process. We discovered that one of our Board members may have mishandled a significant amount of EFA assets during 2009 and 2010. This only affected EFA funds; no EFA families’ funds were taken or were at risk. When our investigations reached a point where we were comfortable that we knew what was involved, we confronted the Board member and demanded restitution. We have received the payment we requested. We have also reported our findings to the police.

We also identified what else we needed to do beyond recovering our money. We consulted with outside legal counsel to determine our additional reporting obligations. We asked for and received the Board member’s resignation from the EFA. We blocked any access to our funds by anyone not authorized to receive them. We have begun to review and improve our processes and procedures to reinforce the checks and balances that need to be in place. And, we are forming a committee to continue reviewing all of our processes and procedures fully and recommend changes where necessary.

As we have worked through this difficult investigation, we have been comforted by the reality that even though this situation occurred during 2009 and 2010, all players who wanted to play football in those years did. We conducted our programs with no diminished focus on building good football players and great young people. We will continue our full football programs in 2011 with no impact from this internal matter and no increase in fees to you. And, we are thankful for the many hard working and talented Board members we have, who worked diligently for many hours, through many months, investigating and resolving this situation.

If you have questions about this communication, please contact either Don Hasbargen (612-868-9660) or Mick Spence (952-944-3940). They are the only two Board members authorized by the EFA’s Board to answer questions.”

Ross Tomoson
EFA President

Comments (4)
  1. Makes me sad says:

    I was involved some time back in the LMAA, of which Edina was one of the participating areas along with others on the west side of town.
    What all these associations need to do is have a check, counter-check and maybe even a monthly review by the respective board(s) on financial issues.
    One would hope and trust that this is not necessary but really it should be SOP at all organizations. It’s hard to further burden the volunteers who run these things but 75K is not small change if it never came back. And it would not have if someone didn’t pick up on this.
    Nice job EFA for coming out and forward on this right away. Well done

  2. Makes me sad too says:

    It is happening across the world to trusting good people in many types of organizations quit frequently today. Sex predators and money predators (greedy insane) are hiding among good people in well meaning organizations taking advantage of the situation. Makes me sick. Hope all well meaning trusting organizations across the world who have large sums of money and/or vulnerable children , wake up!

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