Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Safety Harbor finance director fired

Times Staff Writer

SAFETY HARBOR — City Finance Director JoAnne Ryan has been fired after the city manager said he discovered unauthorized personal transactions on a city credit card.

Ryan was on vacation earlier this month when City Manager Matt Spoor opened documents relating to an American Express bill that would normally have gone to her. Spoor said he found numerous unauthorized transactions, most for flights, rental cars and hotel rooms relating to a Clearwater youth basketball team that her daughters played for.

Ryan was placed on administrative leave without pay on Aug. 18 and fired two days later. A state attorney's investigation could conclude within two weeks, according to Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe.

In Ryan's termination letter, Spoor wrote: "You admitted to a state attorney's office investigator and me that since Oct. 2007, you had used the city's American Express card for 44 unauthorized personal transactions totaling $12,909. Most of these expenses were incurred in connection with the Clearwater Green Wave AAU basketball club. In addition, you admitted to performing inappropriate accounting actions in connection with your unauthorized personal use of the credit card.''

Ryan could not be reached for comment.

Spoor said that Ryan wrote a check to the city for more than $8,000.

She had worked for the city for 24 years and was finance director for 18. She won numerous awards for her budgets.

She has been deeply involved in basketball since her teenage years at St. Vincent Ferrer High School in New York City. In the late 1970s, she played at Wilkes College.

Records show that in 1998, Ryan founded a nonprofit called the Clearwater High Lady Tornadoes Basketball Booster Club. Her daughter, Nicole, was a standout player for Clearwater High as well as the Green Wave. She now plays for American University.

Her younger daughter, Veronica, plays for the Tornadoes.

"I'm saddened and disappointed that a person whom we all held in such high regard would betray our trust,'' said Mayor Andy Steingold.

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Eileen Schulte can be reached at schulte@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4153.

Safety Harbor finance director fired 08/26/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 2, 2008 2:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Kidpreneurs — and adults — capitalize on gooey, squishy Slime craze

    Retail

    First it was Play-Doh. Then Gak. There have been dozens of variations for sale of the oozy, gooey, squishable, stretchable kids' toy through the generations.

    Aletheia Venator and Berlyn Perdomo demonstrate the stretchiness of their slime. - Berlyn Perdomo and her friend, Aletheia Venator, both 13, make and sell slime which can be seen on their instagram site @the.real.slimeshadyy [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  2. After last year's drug-related deaths, Tampa's Sunset Music Festival says it's stepping up safety, security

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Alex Haynes worked three jobs. He had a fiance and an infant son. He owned his own home in Melbourne. Last summer, the 22-year-old attended the Sunset Musical Festival at Raymond James Stadium.

    He left in an ambulance.

    Last year’s Sunset Music Festival was marked by dozens of medical emergencies.
  3. What you need to know for Friday, May 26

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Read this morning why Florida's most prized sweet corn is nearly extinct. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. The last farmer of Florida's prized Zellwood corn is thinking of packing it in

    Consumer

    MOUNT DORA — Hank Scott steps out of his pickup between the long rows and snaps off an ear that grows about bellybutton-high on the forehead-high stalks.

    Hank Scott, co-owner of Long and Scott Farms, shucks an ear of corn on the farm in Mount Dora, Fla., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The farm specializes in Scott's Zellwood Triple-Sweet Gourmet Corn. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  5. Trump's rock-solid support shows in Pennsylvania: 'Why can't we be friends with Russia'

    National

    HAZLETON, Pa. — To many here, the fires in Washington are distant and unimportant, a confusing jangle of news about Russia whipped up by forces set on ruining President Donald Trump.

    A street in downtown Hazleton, Pa. (Alex Leary  |  Times)