CVB exec quits after employee was caught stealing

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Warren "Mac" McLaughlin, who served as president and CEO of the Palm Beach County Convention & Visitors Bureau since 1987, resigned after it was reported that the CVB's controller, Donna Duffer, had embezzled $1.5 million over the course of three years.

Lee Davis, the CVB's vice president of finance and administration, also resigned.

McLaughlin, 72, is a four-decade veteran of the travel industry and is credited with significantly expanding Palm Beach's tourism industry.

But county officials pushed for the resignations of executives over the appearance of ineffective oversight after Duffer admitted to dipping into the bureau's funds to cover debts incurred because of a gambling problem.

Duffer's attorney, Sue Foreman, said the police were still investigating the incident, and that no charges had been filed. Duffer has provided "complete information" to the police, Foreman said.

To contact reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].

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