Palm Beach CEO resigns in wake of embezzlement scandal

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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 CVBs controller, Donna Duffer, had embezzled $1.5 million over the course of three years.

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

Lee Davis, the CVBs vice president of finance and administration, also resigned.

County officials pushed for the resignations of executives over the appearance of ineffective oversight after Duffer admitted to dipping into the bureaus funds to cover debts incurred because of a gambling problem.

Duffer's lawyer, Sue Foreman, told TravelWeekly.com the police are still investigating the incident and that no charges had been filed. Duffer has been "completely cooperative" with the police and has given them "complete information" on the incident, Foreman said.

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

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