Former Windsor Public Library CEO Barry Holmes racked up $131,000 on his corporate credit card at a library in British Columbia before coming to Windsor, according the board chair.
Holmes's spending included $500 for hemp-based body cream, grocery store visits and music purchases while serving as CEO of the Greater Victoria Public Library for over three years, according to Karel Roessingh, chair of the Greater Victoria Public Library Board.
"He did not pay any money back, but to be fair we cannot be sure that those expenses were not for the library," Roessingh told CBC News.
"I understand that there are particular expenses that might raise eyebrows, but we don’t know that the lotion was not for staff gifts or for what use it was. The vast majority of those expenses we can say yes for sure those were library expenses and we can’t say that none of them were not," he said.
In 2008 Roessingh said the board had "some concerns" about the current credit card policy, so it was amended to limit the CEO's spending and ensure "all charges were approved and signed off on."
Holmes had a salary of $144,000 and received $43,000 in severance after resigning in March, 2010, according to The Province.
The Greater Victoria Public Library Board initiated Holmes’s departure, which had nothing to do with credit card spending, according to Roessingh.
"I was here when it was mutually agreed that he leave the Victoria library," Roessingh. "We agreed that this relationship wasn’t going to work out."
Soon after Holmes was hired to be CEO of the Windsor Public Library where his salary was between $113,429 to $137,874.
"I’m not sure what criteria they may have used in hiring Mr. Holmes. It would be hard to say [hiring Holmes] was a mistake with the information [the Windsor Public Library] had," said Roessingh.
'He had good evaluations'
"At the time we hired him ... he had good evaluations. There were many things we felt he did well."
"His departure was not related to the policy and to be clear his departure was not related to credit card expenses. I can’t comment on specific details on his departure, but I can say it was by mutual agreement," said Roessingh.