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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Charity president says bullying allegations are a smokescreen for financial problems


Took charge last April but soon had issues trying to implement new vision

A charity chief has claimed he was forced out after raising concerns about financial irregularities.

Vasile Toch said he was ousted from his unpaid role as president of the Society for Scottish Artists on trumped-up charges of bullying and intimidation as a smokescreen for serious governance issues at the organisation.

He told The Times allegations against him were “fabricated” and “concocted” after he tried to professionalise the 133-year-old society.

Toch took charge last April but soon had issues trying to implement his vision to take the charity forward.

The society’s council wrote to members telling of the decision to expel Toch. It said: “Following a series of meetings and hearings with Vasile Toch, the council concluded that it no longer has confidence in his leadership.” 

Toch has reported his concerns to OSCR.

He said: “The quiet life experienced by the SSA council before my presidency was shaken by the need to be involved in more complicated matters: fundraising, management, budgeting, as we moved from one exhibition per year to multiple national and international events.

“Everyone had an easy life as we only had one major event for the year.

“The administrators operated on a rather loose schedule, with no supervision, even handling all banking operations (keeping in mind that they are not SSA employees, but freelance contractors).

“While trying to induce some form of financial and operational order and discipline. I disturbed the well-established system, and the council turned against me when I challenged the administrators, and the spectrum of change appeared on the horizon.”

The SSA’s council said: “On 10th June, 2024, the Council of the Society of Scottish Artists concluded that it no longer had confidence in Vasile Toch’s leadership of the SSA and consequently determined that he should cease to be a member of council and president forthwith.

“The SSA council wants to thank Vasile for all his contributions to the society and his ambitious vision for the society’s exhibition programme.

“The SSA remains in sound financial standing and is progressing with its planned activity.”



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