Denver Comic Con Co-Founder Alleges 2013 Funds ‘Unaccounted For,’ Convention Responds
In two short years, Denver Comic Con has become one of the top comic book conventions in the country. That's an especially huge achievement considering that the show isn't run by Wizard, ReedPop, or any of the other big event producers. Two pals, Charlie La Greca and Frank Romero, started the con from scratch.
Now, La Greca claims he's been unceremoniously ousted by the board of directors after eight months "fraught with difficulty and tumult."
La Greca and Romero founded the organization Comic Book Classroom in 2009 as a way to drive revenue from the convention into literacy programs. La Greca claims that none of the money from the 2013 convention has gone toward classes.
In a blog post on his site Save Denver Comic Con, La Greca states that "there are allegedly up to $300,000 in revenues from the 2013 DCC alone, that remain unaccounted for, and some of which appear to be funneled towards high profile legal posturing."
After five years of dedicated service to Comic Book Classroom and Denver Comic Con and despite my desire to continue to be a part of the organizations I founded, I’ve been apparently removed from them. I’ve only heard this indirectly; most painfully through a letter recently sent out to all of my peers, clients, fellow artists, and industry professionals claiming I was no longer with the organization. Inexplicably and without explanation, my professional email and all of my admin rights were turned off overnight.
Wednesday evening, Denver Comic Con released an official statement titled "Denver Comic Con Does Not Need Saving," in which the organization states, "Allegations of misuse of funds are wholly untrue." A bulleted list of items details what the organization has done in classrooms since the 2013 convention, and the board says the organization's financial records will be made available to the public "when the fiscal year 2013 records are completed."
The statement also asserts that La Greca agreed to step down from the board last year to take a paid contract position with the organization.
Charlie was paid $10,000 and was the only founding member who was paid. After the 2013 con, Charlie’s contract was not renewed. In the months following the convention, CBC and Charlie went to a number of mediation meetings. And therefore his nonparticipation has never been in question. We deeply regret that the matter has jumped from mediation to the court of public opinion.
Romero left the organization in January "for personal reasons," the statement says.
La Greca has started a petition on Change.org asking for the Denver Comic Con board of directors to meet with the two co-founders. He's also seeking an audit of the organization. As of Wednesday night, the petition was at just over 600 signatures. La Greca has also announced a public meeting on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m. at the Denver Entertainment Art & Design Academy.