Oct 28, 2011 11:02 PM by Andy Koen
The former executive director of the Arc of the Pikes Peak Region says she made a mistake claiming that she had a master's degree but denies allegations that she spent the group's money for her personal use. Teddi Roberts was fired in August by the Arc's board of directors.
In an interview with News 5, Roberts answered the allegations against her including that she misrepresented herself. She said she honestly believed Adams State College had given her a masters degree.
"In 2004, I received a letter from Adams State and they said I had credits that would go toward a masters," she explained. "Later the alumni directory came in and said that I had a masters. It had the wrong date of graduation and said that I had an MA and I just made an assumption that they gave me credit."
Earlier this month, the board of directors mailed a letter to the Arc members outlining their reasons for firing Roberts and misrepresentation was the primary complaint. The letter further claimed that she used the group's credit cards on herself to buy a laptop computer. Roberts says the she was actually shopping for the organization.
"We were buying two laptops for the Arc at the end of the year last year and Best Buy had a little thing going that the more laptops you buy, you get a better deal," Roberts said.
She bought a third laptop as a gift for her son, but show us a canceled check and store receipt as proof that she reimbursed the organization the same day.
A third allegation claimed she failed to perform her duties as executive director by not returning money and a car to the state Medicaid fund that had belonged to an adult with developmental disabilities that was under the Arc guardianship.
"Our guardianship had ceased," Roberts said. "We had no legal authority. The bank wanted a court order so that we could send the money to Medicaid, and that was my intent but I was fired before that happened."
Pam Bowen, a long time Arc member and former board member, disagrees with Roberts' firing. She and a group of Arc members mailed a letter to the groups membership in August demanding the removal of the board of directors and reinstatement of Roberts.
She said the board ignored their requests for proof of the claims against Roberts. She also said the board's letter, which was mailed three months after the termination, was used to smear Roberts.
"I think this was the most degrading, impersonal, ... I think it was intentional to hurt somebody" Bowen said. "This is confidential. It didn't need to be shared."
Last night at the Arc's annual membership meeting, an effort led by Bowen and the other members to replace two of the existing board members failed. However, they are continuing their push to vote out the current board at a special meeting to be held November 14.
"It's called a clean slate," Bowen said. Yet when asked directly whether she would like to see Roberts reinstated she replied, "I don't know. I don't have enough information."