An employe of NBC News' Washington bureau has left the network and three managers have been reprimanded in connection with questions about unexplained expense vouchers, network officials in New York said yesterday.
M.S. Rukeyser Jr., the network's executive vice president for corporate communications, said the amount of money involved -- which he described as "expenses being submitted and no reasonable explanation provided" -- was "approximately $100,000 during a seven-year period." He said the managers had been reprimanded because of "inadequate supervision of the affected employe."
The announcement came a few hours after Washington bureau chief Bob McFarland, responding to several days of rumors in the bureau, called a general staff meeting in Washington to explain the situation. Through a spokesman, McFarland referred all questions to Rukeyser in New York.
Rukeyser declined to identify the employes -- or to elaborate on a prepared statement -- but informed sources said Charles O. Jones, a veteran news director who recently directed the network's presidential inauguration coverage, left the company last Friday, and that Scott Goodfellow, deputy bureau chief for administration, and Brady Daniels, the bureau's manager of finance and administration, had received reprimands. The third manager was said to be in the New York financial department. One source said bureau employes thought the reprimands were unjustified and were upset about them.
Reached at home, Jones said, "I simply resigned because I wanted to take early retirement." Asked about the expenses, he said, "I know nothing about that and have no comment."
Goodfellow had no comment. Daniels could not be reached yesterday.
"NBC has taken appropriate disciplinary action against the affected employes and has instituted new procedures to prevent recurrence of this action," Rukeyser said in his statement. "A careful review and audit confirms that this is one employe's isolated action."