After a nonprofit defaulted on a $400,000 loan from the city, Sacramento Press wanted to know: How much does the executive director make, and why did the city make the loan in the first place?

As one of the more prolific blog commenters in the Sacramento region noted, nonprofits disclose their staff compensation figures in their 990 IRS forms, which as public record are easily accessible through sites like

Tthe Sacramento Region Sports Education Foundation only lists one "key employee" on its 990s – its director, John McCasey – who earned $163,975 in 2010, $160,600 in 2009 and $155,354 in 2008.

The foundation has been in the red since 2009, and while a nonprofit by definition does not seek to make money, the audit concluded the "pattern of losses and failing to clearly account for them indicates a lack of financial planning and effective organizational management."

The report also indicated that the SRSEF failed to follow its own bylaws or the conditions of the city loan, including a requirement that the loan money be kept segregated from the foundation’s general fund and only be used to organize and host the 2011 World Masters Athletics Championships.

McCasey also draws a separate salary from the city for his role as the executive director of the Sacramento Sports Commission. I’m working on a story that will answer reader’s question about on what the comission recieve from the city.

Other readers asked why the council had made the loan in the first place. After the meeting Tuesday, I asked Councilman Steve Cohn if he thought that the loan had been a mistake and what the council would do differently going forward.

He indicated that the loan approval may have been rushed because of the time-sensitive nature of the tournament it was intended for, and that the city should have taken greater care to ensure the foundation had financial controls in place.

"I think in this case, because of the nature of the events, people may have gotten caught up in trying to make things happen quickly, and really didn’t do the full examination that was needed in terms of the controls," he said. “Just because we want to do an event, doesn’t mean we don’t put the controls in place.”

Here’s Cohn’s full response – in a regrettably wobbly video: