July 29, 2014

New WEDC executives on board soon

The head of the state’s embattled job creation group says the worst days of the agency are behind them. Reed Hall, executive director of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, says they will have a new chief financial officer on board within 30 days and a new vice-president for credit risk who will be responsible for all the loans and tax credits.

In December, an audit uncovered missing safeguards, sloppy bookkeeping, and high turnover in the WEDC. “There are some road map elements outlined in there that we need to adhere to,” Hall said during a stop at the annual meeting of the Oneida County Economic Development Corporation, “And they’re good judgments. They’re things that we’ve uncovered but they reaffirm what we need to do as far as our financial and accounting systems.”

WEDC, a public-private partnership, was created in 2011 by the Walker administration from the former Commerce Department.

Governor Scott Walker named Hall the permanent director in January after the previous director Paul Jadin left to head a private group.  After Jadin left, reports surfaced that the WEDC failed to keep track of past-due loans to businesses from the former commerce agency. The corporation’s chief financial officer left after that.

Last week, WEDC lost its third CFO in only two years when the newly hired executive accepted a promotion from his former employer.

Ken Krall-WXPR contributed to this report