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Gary Mayor Says Acts Against Genesis Center Profitability are Unacceptable

Sharon Jackson, Lakeshore Public Radio Show Host/Reporter
Lakeshore Public Media

GARY- In response to the indictment of the former bookkeeper and interim executive director of the Genesis Convention Center, Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said Wednesday that the city has worked hard to ensure the profitability of the Genesis Center and any actions inconsistent with those efforts are unacceptable.

Portage resident, 52 year-old Victoria Wilson, has been charged in federal court with stealing more than $10,000 in cash from the Genesis Convention Center.  She was charged with one count of theft from a local government entity receiving federal funds.

U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch said Wilson was hired as the center's bookkeeper in February 2017 and served as interim executive director from August 2017 through February 2018.

Wilson was appointed to the position by the center's board of directors.  The board members are appointed by Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.

According to a city of Gary news release, Wilson's indictment came as a result of the city's internal audit findings and a report of the findings to the State Board of Accounts.  

Freeman-Wilson says the good news is that the internal audit process and internal controls are working and the internal auditor continues to hold city employees to high standard.

The Mayor says the city will continue to strengthen its internal controls to minimize the possibility of any other incidents like this occurring.  She also says the city is pleased that U. S. Attorney Kirsch has included restitution in the plea agreement.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office and will be heard in front of a federal judge in Hammond.