PEABODY (CBS) — The president of a youth football league broke her silence in a letter to parents, though the message did little to answer questions swirling around the program’s financial situation.
Peabody Youth Football and Cheering president, Jacqui Pence, distributing the letter on Thursday afternoon.
“As you are all aware there have been some allegations made and some serious questions directed toward the Board of Directors of this league,” Pence wrote in the letter, obtained by the WBZ I-Team. “You all deserve and have the right to have these answers and I promise that these issues will be addressed very shortly.”
On Tuesday, the I-Team first reported financial problems in the league and uncovered thousands of dollars in questionable expenses.
Parents and coached approached the I-Team because of concerns about outdated equipment and potential safety risks to young players.
In the majority of the letter, Pence attempted to distance the league’s vice president, Steven O’Hara, from the controversy. O’Hara is Pence’s brother and works as a MBTA transit police sergeant.
“At NO time has (O’Hara) ever had any involvement or responsibility with the purchasing of equipment, the paying of bills, depositing or writing of checks or any of the financial responsibilities of this league,” Pence wrote. “I completely absolve him of any and all issues and questions related to the allegations.”
Pence is promising answers soon, but many parents have already lost patience. As of Thursday evening, 180 people have signed an online petition, asking the league president and other board members to immediately step down and turn over financial records.
“I’m furious and disgusted,” one parent commented on the petition. “I’m a single mother paying all this money I can’t afford, only to find out it’s not being used properly.”
Ryan Kath can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.