SPAC Probe Continues

Officials with New York’s Saratoga Performing Arts Center are trying to get back to the business of music amid a state probe.

The PAC recently received a subpoena from the state attorney general for records related to an audit conducted by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation — the center’s landlord — into the board of directors’ spending habits, according to The New York Times.

Dr. Stephen Serlin, who recently replaced Charles Mather as board chairman, said although many of the documents had been turned in for the previous audit, the board is cooperating.

“We’re going through it to see what was not already submitted,” he told the Times. “We’re in the process of reviewing the request.”

The nonprofit has been under fire for nearly a year regarding the board of directors’ decision to sever ties with the New York City Ballet after 40 years in an effort to cut costs. The decision has since been reversed while the board works out how to finance future seasons.

Serlin also told the paper the board will name a successor to outgoing executive director Herb Chesbrough in the next few weeks.

The public backlash over dropping the ballet led to a state audit through the parks department, with the preliminary results alleging the PAC has been mismanaged, Chesbrough overpaid, and the center’s board has been lacking in its oversight duties.

Last month, Chesbrough told Pollstar he would step down in October 2005 before his contract expired in 2006. But following the audit, Chesbrough and the board agreed he should step down as soon as possible.