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Little Crow Country Club GM reports own unauthorized use of funds

Sam Drodofsky

SPICER, Minn. -- The Little Crow Country Club is searching for a new general manager after terminating its manager of the past 13 years for the alleged unauthorized use of funds possibly totaling $100,000 or more.

The Little Crow Country Club board of directors terminated the employment of Sam Drodofsky, the Spicer country club and golf course's pro and general manager since 2003, after holding emergency meetings in January at which they learned of the accusations.

Drodofsky allegedly told then-board President Ross Baker Jan. 9 that he had taken funds. He turned over his keys and was told he would be terminated, according to minutes of the association meetings.

Baker declined to comment on the matter.

Minutes of the club's Feb. 1 membership meeting indicate that Drodofsky provided a $45,000 check to the Little Crow Country Club and followed up with another $55,000 payment one week later. A Jan. 25 letter to members from the board says Drodofsky "is willing to pay any further outstanding debt based on the results of the audit."

Drodofsky has not returned calls seeking comment.

He submitted a letter to the board members in which he apologized and promised to make full restitution "quickly.''

"I have betrayed the trust of my family, very good friends, and everyone at LC. I pray to God each and every day for forgiveness and hope that someday you might forgive me,'' Drodofsky stated in his letter.

Karen Runstedler, newly elected president of the Little Crow board of directors, said board members are unable to comment on the issue at this stage and referred questions to the association's attorney, Bradley Schmidt of Willmar, Minn. She acknowledged that the alleged misuse of funds came as a "shocker'' to many in the organization.

The sensitive nature of the matter makes it inappropriate for public comment at this time, according to Schmidt.

The board has retained the services of Christianson and Associates of Willmar to audit the association's financial records and determine the total amount that may be involved.

The meeting minutes from Feb. 1 indicate that personal expenses were charged on a company credit card along with business expenses, and the credit card was then paid by check from Little Crow Country Club. The minutes say the personal expenses were included in numerous line-item expenses on the financial statement. It is believed to have been happening from 2011 to 2015, according to the meeting minutes, but the audit will be more comprehensive.

Discussion has occurred over whether the board consider pursuing criminal or civil action against the former general manager. At the Feb. 1 meeting, a motion to press charges was not acted on. Instead, those present supported a motion to wait and see if full restitution is made and then bring the issue of whether to pursue any charges to the full membership.

Drodofsky had served as the pro and general manager for the Little Crow Country Club since January 2003. He was the first to be appointed as general manager for the operations of the public course located between Spicer and New London. Judd Bonham had served as golf pro the 10 previous years.

Drodofsky had been at the Mississippi National Golf Links in Red Wing, Minn., for over 15 years prior to coming to Little Crow in 2002, according to media archives. Little Crow's revenues were about $1 million in 2009 prior to his arrival.

Drodofsky has been a member of the Professional Golfers Association since 1991. In 2010, he was honored as the Golf Professional of the Year by the Dakota Chapter of the Minnesota PGA. He has a degree in business administration from Winona State University.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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