The executive director of the Madras Aquatic Center Recreation District, Joe McHaney, was fired Monday after being placed on paid administrative leave in April.

The recreation district board — which approved a separation agreement Monday firing McHaney for “no cause” — has declined to explain why he was placed on leave and ultimately fired.

However, McHaney’s attorney, David Allen, said Tuesday the board was investigating voided cash transactions totaling about $7,000 since January 2017. No proof was found that McHaney was at fault, but the board still fired him, Allen said.

In the separation agreement, McHaney maintains his innocence and will be allowed to apply for unemployment, according to Allen.

McHaney was named “Outstanding Director of the Year” by the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce in 2017 after four years leading the MAC.

“This is a sad day for the citizens of Madras and all of those who enjoy the activities of the Madras Aquatic Center,” Allen said. “Justice was not served. The district and the community lost an accomplished and award-winning director for no cause.”

Allen criticized the way the board investigated the case. Specifically, he said the board never requested or completed an audit of the center’s books or records. Without such an audit, the board was unable to verify whether any money was actually missing, Allen said. The investigation also revealed anyone could log into the system and spoof which computer they were actually working from and which account user they were logged in as, Allen added.

“We believe many of the problems revealed by this investigation are actually caused by poor accounting and internal procedures related to the MAC’s online active system which handles transactions and enrollments,” Allen said.

The board is scheduled to meet again at its regular monthly meeting July 9.

— Reporter: 541-617-7820, kspurr@bendbulletin.com

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