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Grand Strand Humane Society director resigns, cites ethical concerns

(WPDE)

The Grand Strand Humane Society is looking for its fourth executive director in three years after Suzanne Roman stepped down from the role last week.

Roman told ABC15 she resigned because of her concerns about the organization's board of directors, particularly decisions the board has made since the beginning of the year.

She claimed the organization's treasurer pushed for the creation of a business director position at the society that wasn't a part of the organization's budget, then proceeded to become hired for that position after stepping down from the board.

Roman also said she interviewed the treasurer and multiple outside candidates, but the treasurer helped sink the other applications after sitting in on some of the interviews.

She also said the new position reported directly to the board.

"With city funding going into the shelter, I was uncomfortable not having oversight over this particular role and this particular person," Roman said.

Myrtle Beach contributes 28 percent of the society's $1 million annual budget.

In a conversation with ABC15, Board Chairwoman Elena Nicholas disputed several of Roman's claims.

Nicholas said Roman needed help with the budget and the director approached the treasurer about the job.

She said the primary assignment of the 18-month hire was to implement and train staff on a new budget system that Roman had selected and help create next year's budget, which Roman would've maintained day-to-day control over.

"We thought it would be helpful," Nicholas explained. "We all asked her to stay."

Nicholas said Roman resigned before the board could work out the specifics of the new position.

Both Nicholas and Roman said the staffing situation is a distraction from the organization's core mission.

"Please, people, go in, adopt and continue to contribute and support the amazing people that work there," Roman pleaded.

We reached out to the former treasurer for his side of the story, but have not received a response.

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