Newspaper Raises Questions About Thomas Nelson's Financial Practices

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Nashville paper tries to connect the dots over Christian publisher Thomas Nelson
"Several weeks ago, shortly before Thomas Nelson Inc. disclosed that Chief Executive Sam Moore reimbursed the company $139,000 for personal expenses and services from employees, its top regulatory compliance officer was quietly put on paid administrative leave," reports The Tennessean. "Now, questions have emerged whether the two actions are in some way connected."

The Nashville paper reports that the officer on leave, Eric Hayden, "privately told friends they are" connected. "He has said certain actions by Moore placed him in a position that would compromise his responsibilities to ensure that the company was complying with federal regulatory and securities rules."

But Moore says Hayden was put on leave to cut costs. (Hayden, however, continues to draw paychecks—he's just not working. Moore wouldn't tell the paper why he'd keep paying a nonworking employee if he's on leave to cut costs.)

So far, no details are available over Moore's $139,000 reimbursement, which came out in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All Joe Powers, Thomas Nelson's CFO, would tell the paper is that they "made the disclosure that's required."

"It's not known if Moore's reimbursement and Heyden's status will come up this Thursday at Nelson's annual meeting," reports The Tennessean. Do any Thomas Nelson shareholders plan to bring it up? E-mail Weblog here.

Thomas Nelson hasn't yet responded to the article, but if they do it's likely to appear either at its website's corporate news page or in The Tennessean's letters to the editor area.

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