Wednesday, July 9, 2008

CDC director steps down

Rapport resigns amid crime allegations

Express Staff Writer

Garry Rapport Photo by Mountain Express

The Ketchum Community Development Corporation Tuesday morning accepted the resignation of Gary Rapport, its recently-hired executive director.

The resignation follows acknowledgement by the Ketchum Police Department spokesman Kim Rogers that it is pursuing an investigation of Rapport's background.

As he resigned, Rapport said he was innocent of any alleged charges.

"I made the decision to resign immediately from the executive director position of the Ketchum Community Development Corporation following news reports of alleged activities in my past," Rapport said in a prepared statement Tuesday. "I just want to say that I have never been convicted of any crime."

The Twin Falls Times News published a story Tuesday that reported allegations about Rapport's past that were posted online as a comment by an unidentified reader of an Idaho Mountain Express story about Rapport's plans for the CDC.

Rapport said he decided to move on from the leadership role in the interest of keeping the CDC out of the spotlight and allowing the fledgling organization to continue to focus on community development activities.

"I have enjoyed working at moving the KCDC forward," he said in the statement. "Out of deference to myself and my family I will not make any other public statements."

"Effective immediately, Gary will no longer have any operational role with the organization," said Neil Bradshaw, board president for the CDC. "His work here was stellar, and there were absolutely no problems or any hint of misconduct."

Ketchum's Rapport was hired in February as a consultant to the CDC and was subsequently named executive director, though he remained a contractor to the organization.

Because he was hired on a contract basis, the CDC board did not perform a criminal background check.

"Before engaging him we performed an extensive check of his personal and professional references, which were all glowing reports," Bradshaw said. "His energy and leadership will be missed."

The board will ask Rapport to finish some pending grant applications over the coming months.

The CDC is a private nonprofit that was launched in July 2006 with seed money from the city of Ketchum. Its focus has been affordable community housing and capital improvement projects for the betterment of the community. It has roughly 55 volunteers and a 10-member board of directors.

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