Director of NYC Flanders House under fire for suspicious expenses
The director of Flanders House, Philip Fontaine, has been accused of diverting funds to a company that he and his wife own.
Flanders House was opened in New York half a year ago with an aim to increase Flemish exports to the United States and to put 'Flanders' on the map.
However, the image of Flanders House be tarnished amidst new allegations levelled at the director Philip Fontaine. According to the daily De Standaard the director has channelled thousands of dollars into his own company.
The newspaper bases its information on allegations from Jean-Marie Dedecker (the right-wing liberal party LDD).
According to Mr Dedecker, not only does Mr Fontaine receive a salary of USD 250,000 per year, but his company also invoices Flanders House for thousands of dollars.
Mr Fontaine established the company in question in 2003. The company organises trips to Italy, but has also organised events in Flanders House.
The chairman of the LDD party claims to have information regarding many problems at Flanders House, ranging from the failure to have correct insurance to poor working conditions for the employees of office.
Flemish Prime Minister Kris Peeters confirms that there have been reports of irregularities with the way the house is being run.
"Last week the board of directors informed me that a number of questions that have arisen. Fontaine's wife was also mentioned," says PM Peeters.
On Wednesday the board of directors of Flanders House will discuss the allegations. If they are true, PM Peeters has promised to take appropriate measures.