November 11th, 2009 | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

Zoo Audit Due Tomorrow: Two Staffers Scram

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Two top officials at the Oregon Zoo stepped down abruptly last Friday, just days ahead of what is expected to be a negative audit of the zoo's management of capital construction projects.

Metro spokesman Jim Middaugh confirmed today that the second ranking zoo manager, deputy director Carmen Hannold, who was in charge of maintenance and guest services, is no longer employed by the zoo. And neither is Steve Chaney, who was in charge of construction.

Chaney declined to comment this evening when contacted by WW. And Hannold could not be reached for comment.

Middaugh declined to comment on why the pair departed or whether their departures were related to the audit. An email from acting zoo director Mike Keele says that audit will be released tomorrow morning.

"They have both chosen to pursue other opportunities," Middaugh says.

Longtime zoo director Tony Vecchio resigned in July to become the director of the Jacksonville Zoo in Florida.

Middaugh says he is unaware of any connection between the matters that will be discussed in the audit and Vecchio's departure. "Nothing I've heard or been shown suggests that will be the case," Middaugh says.

In 2008, voters approved a $125 million zoo bond measure for the expansion of elephant and hippo facilities over WW's objection.
 
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