Oxford American founding editor Marc Smirnoff and managing/art editor Carol Ann Fitzgerald have reportedly left the “Southern magazine of good writing” amid an internal investigation being conducted by its lawyers.
On Wednesday evening, publisher and interim editor Warwick Sabin locked employees out of the non-profit quarterly’s office on the University of Central Arkansas campus, reports local news outlet Log Cabin Democrat. A dispatch from the UCA campus police said the locks were being changed on the offices pending an personnel investigation “regarding inappropriate conduct.” The report said, in full:
“Oxford American employees are under an internal investigation Marc Smirnoff and Carol Ann Fitzgerald regarding inappropriate conduct…they were informed today [Wednesday] to meet with attorneys in Little Rock tomorrow [Thursday] Mr. Smirnoff was very upset and agitated and Mr. Sabin notified our department to assist in clearing the building….KIMMY MANNING from UCA Physical Plant was notified to come and change the locks on the doors ROOMS 106 / 107 / 108 HAVE BEEN CLEARED, STANDING BY FOR PHYSICAL PLANT. CAROL WAS LEAVING ROOM 107 UPON THE OFFICERS ARRIVAL / THEY ADVISED HER THAT THEY WERE THERE TO SECURE THE DOORS AND SHE LEFT SHORTLY AFTERWARD”
In 2008, an Oxford American operations manager was arrested for allegedly embezzling $30,000 from the quarterly’s coffers. Mr. Sabin told Log Cabin that the company’s recent audit, which showed the magazine was in good standing, was not related to the investigation.
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