Retailer organization ComicsPRO has been a major influence in the industry over the last few years, working with publishers and holding a yearly conference that is widely thought to be one of the most important of the year. However, now it seems a former Board member is under investigation for possible misuse of funds, as Matthew Price reports. ComcisPRO just posted the following statement on their Facebook page:
ComicsPRO, the Comic Book Industry retail trade organization, is currently investigating the possible misuse or misappropriation of corporate funds by a former Board member. Thomas Gaul, the organization President, was recently made aware of the potential abuse. He moved to quickly inform the Board of Directors of the issue and accepted the resignation of the board member in question. The board is investigating the extent and degree of any misappropriation of organization funds, the effects it may have on the organization, and what the organization can do to recover the funds, if anything.
The Board of Directors is fully committed to uncovering all of the facts and circumstances surrounding these events in an open and transparent manner and, should it become necessary, will cooperate with authorities as the situation unfolds.
Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, there is no expected impact to the current staffing and programming of the organization.
UPDATE: In a letter to membership, the officer in question has been identified as Gary Dills, owner of the Laughing Ogre in Ohio and Phoenix Comics and Toys in Virginia, and one of the founding members of ComicsPRO. Dills had been one of the most respected members of the retailing community prior to these charges; he has resigned from the board effective immediately.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.