Director of Reggie Lewis Track Center denies wrongdoing

The director of the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center is denying allegations that have drawn state scrutiny, saying they were filed by a disgruntled former member and are unfounded.

The facility, which is part of Roxbury Community College, recently came under investigation from the state auditor’s office for unspecified violations. The college also faces a separate federal probe for suspected lapses in its crime reporting.

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Keith McDermott, who directs the Reggie Lewis Center, said the woman accused the center of several offenses, including mishandling proceeds from concerts, after her membership was revoked last November.

“None of it is true,” McDermott said. “The state investigation will show we did absolutely nothing wrong.”

McDermott, who is the first college employee to address the state investigation publicly, said the facility does not directly collect proceeds from concerts, leaving that to concert promoters.

“They pay before the concerts and none of our staff have any interaction with them and their money,” he said.

The state auditor’s office investigated complaints that the center was violating state regulations that call on state employees to report “any unaccounted for variances, losses, shortages, or thefts of funds or property.”

McDermott said the woman who filed the complaint had a long and contentious history with the center, including as a vendor. According to McDermott, she complained to several offices, including public safety, after her membership was revoked for repeatedly violating center policies, including bringing her children, and athletes who were not members, into the center.

McDermott said he is confident state auditors will find no wrongdoing.

“Anyone can make a claim for a variety of reasons – regardless of having facts,” he said.

Auditors are also investigating crime reporting at the two-year school. From 2008 to 2010, the college reported just six criminal offenses, a low number for an urban school.

Over the same time span, Bunker Hill Community College, for instance, reported 26. Springfield Technical Community College reported 22, and Quinsigamond Community College tallied 18.

Under the Clery Act, colleges are required to submit yearly crime statistics to federal education officials. McDermott said the center had reported all incidents.