Former Director of Pride South Florida Violates Probation
The former director of Pride South Florida, who stole more than $46,000 from the organization, recently was arrested for violating his probation. Since Cruz’s release in February, after serving one year in jail, he’s made only one payment of $460 to PSF, said current director Marc Hansen. But according to the terms of his probation he was supposed to pay an initial $10,000 upfront to the organization.
Hansen told SFGN that Cruz was given an opportunity to come before the board to explain his situation, and possibly renegotiate the terms, but he failed to do that because he was embarrassed, Hansen said Cruz’s probation officer told him.
"At $460 a month it will take 8 years before we’re paid back," Hansen said.
In order to prevent something like this from happening again Hansen said PSF has put in place new check policies such as requiring two signatures on each check, and gotten rid of all ATM cards. Hansen said the theft set the organization back, but under new leadership they’ve been able to come back stronger than ever.
"This money does not belong to us as a corporation. This is the community’s money. We have just been put in place to protect it, and create an event for the community," Hansen said. "Getting this money back will only put us in a better position. Although Michael not repaying us won’t hurt us, it is still our responsibility to get the money back. I will do everything in my ability to see to it to we get it back."
When released from custody, Cruz will have to face a judge for the violation, and can be reinstated with amended conditions, or even sentenced to more jail time.