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Former Columbus Zoo Officials Agree To Repay Misused Funds

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium entrance sign
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President and CEO Tom Schmid announced on Wednesday the board agreed to settlements with former CFO Greg Bell and former Director of Purchasing Tracy Murmane. The former zoo executives were found to have misused the zoo's resources.

Greg Bell has agreed to repay the zoo $132,000. Tracy Murnane, former Director of Purchasing agreed to pay back $11,000.

Bell and former zoo Chief Executive Officer Tom Stalf resigned last year after media reports that the two men allowed their family members to live in zoo-owned properties for discounted rates, and used tickets to concerts and entertainment events for family and friends that were supposed to be for zoo supporters.

No agreement has been reached with Stalf who was responsible for over $400,000 or VP of Marketing Pete Fingerhut who owes $57,000.

Board officials have not ruled out a legal action to get the money back.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium officials could not be reached for comment.

Williams was a reporter for WOSU. Natasha is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and has more than 20 years of television news and radio experience.