The group chosen by the state to run a Saratoga concert venue is poorly operated, its chief executive is overpaid and shoddy management could force the New York City Ballet out of its longtime summer home, an audit stated Tuesday.
The critical look into the Saratoga Performing Arts Center comes after the center's decision to drop the ballet to cut costs. The arts center board later decided to keep the ballet in Saratoga, at least through 2005, thanks mostly to an infusion of $300,000 in state taxpayer funds.
The audit is critical of the nonprofit organization's longtime executive director, Herbert Chesbrough, and his $300,000 salary. Also questioned was a $400,000 severance package for Chesbrough, who will leave in 2005.
A $70,000 salary for Chesbrough's wife, Kathleen, who is the center's development director, also came under scrutiny.
In April, SPAC directors voted to end the ballet's three-week summer residency after 2004, saying the dance company was too expensive. Rock concerts earn more money.