The former boss of Parkrun has apologised and pledged to “fully cooperate” after it emerged he received undisclosed payments from a third party supplier.
The running events charity’s current chief executive Russ Jeffery uncovered the “irregularity” when liaising with the third-party supplier and reported it to the trustees immediately, according to Parkrun Global.
This centres around an undisclosed commission to ex-charity CEO Nick Pearson from the supplier regarding the creation of the clothing brand CONTRA four years ago.
“I made a huge error of judgement, not only that, I breached the trust of good people,” said Pearson.
“I believe that everyone should be accountable for their actions and that includes me.”
Parkrun have reported the incident to the Charity Commission and are seeking legal and financial advice.
“Despite this disheartening incident, it is vital that trust continues to be a core value for the charity. Thank you all for everything you do for parkrun, and for your trust. Please understand that it will never be taken lightly,” said Gavin Megaw, Parkrun’s chair.
Megaw added that Pearson has repaid the money and will pay the charity’s costs involved in investigating the matter.
A statement from the Chair of Trustees. https://t.co/nHq7bbQpcL— parkrun 🌳 (@parkrun) June 23, 2022
“During my time as CEO of parkrun I entered a consultancy arrangement that benefitted me financially and represented a direct conflict of interest. I failed to declare this to the trustees or my colleagues,” Pearson added.
“I have cooperated fully and paid Parkrun all monies received under the agreement.
“I have let a lot of people down and I understand the disappointment and anger that will cause.
“Rebuilding trust will be a very long process, but I commit to doing everything I can to make this happen. I will continue to fully cooperate with Parkrun’s legal representatives where required.”
Pearson had been due to become chair trustees at Goodgym. But the community fitness charity said Pearson will now “not be taking up the role of chair of trustees at GoodGym as we have previously announced” citing Parkrun’s statement.
It added that its current chair Paul Miller will continue in the role “while our board decides on next steps”.