Jim Richerson out as Riverfront Museum President and CEO

By WEEK Producer

May 16, 2013 Updated May 16, 2013 at 6:57 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The CEO of the Peoria Riverfront Museum has left but officials there will not say whether he quit or was fired.

Peoria Riverfront Museum Board Chairman Dave Ransburg took the podium Thursday afternoon to announce that museum CEO Jim Richerson is leaving but he declined to explain why.

"We really aren't going to talk about a personnel matter," said Ransburg.

Ransburg did say museum attendance and revenues were not meeting expectations but did not lay that on Richerson.

However, a month ago Peoria County asked the museum for the results of a financial audit and had trouble obtaining those documents.

"When Dave Ransburg first called me on the issue he said we're late, we're sorry, we'll get it done and get it to you as soon as possible. And for whatever reason that wasn't necessarily the message that was relayed by management," said Peoria County Board Member Stephen Morris.

In the interim, former Peoria Civic Center general manager Debbie Ritschel will act as CEO for up to six months.

"This is a wonderful facility and I think we're ready to take it from the opening, getting their feet wet year to the next and I've actually done that," said Ritschel.

Ransburg said a search firm will be hired to find a permanent replacement.

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