Scott Cooper, treasurer-secretary of the Oklahoma Pro Chapter of SPJ and the director of Region 8 - which includes Texas - resigned this week amid allegations of unauthorized use of the chapter's checking account.
According to the chapter’s news release, Cooper's resignation followed the
chapter's discovery that more than $40,000 in unauthorized withdrawals had been
made after chapter leadership was notified that checks were being returned due
to insufficient funds.
Oklahoman reported that Cooper referred all questions to his attorney, Ed
“My client deeply regrets his actions as detailed in the Oklahoma SPJ
statement,” Blau told The Oklahoman. “Words cannot express the embarrassment and remorse my
client feels as a result of his mistakes.”
A statement issued by SPJ President John Ensslin
said he's appointed a three-person committee to conduct a fact-finding
investigation and help chapters improve procedures to avoid a similar incident
in the future.
Meanwhile, potential candidates are being solicited by national staff to
fill the vacancy on an interim basis. The Oklahoma chapter's award contest will
continue, and actions have been taken to protect SPJ assets, the chapter's