I'm in a precarious situation. The board of our community, which has been elected a year ago for a 2-year period, has swindled us. This involves the complete board: the chairman, the finance chairman, the cash auditors and the secretary.
A lot of money is involved in this case, so much that we might not be able to recover in a year or two but we could basically "live on". (The club can't expand the fitness programme, isn't able to provide money for investments, repairs, etc. and can't completely pay coaches.)
The organization is a sport club with over 1000 members. For each election, representatives are sent from the different departments (gymnastics, soccer, acrobatics, etc.) and these representatives elect the executive board which administers finances, press and other relevant things. The uproar was enormous because something didn't add up and the board couldn't explain why. The fraud was discovered and the vast majority of members now think that the representatives (including me) are involved in the case. I can just speak for myself right now and know that I haven't committed such actions, however, 800 of 1000 people believe that I did.
The situation now is really troublesome. The club is built upon the principles of democracy and right now the members want a grave structural change. I understand that, but I'm really upset because I'm involved in this even though I didn't know of it. We, as representatives, voted for the board because they have done valuable things for the club in the past. It makes the situation even worse as the mistrust between members and representatives grows rapidly.
One important thing is that the representatives are also the chairs of the different sport departments. If we all get kicked out at once, the chance that the sport club crumbles is especially high.
An emergency summit has been announced for the next week where we will literally decide if the sport club will ever recover of this. The board has already been kicked out and they will face their actions in a trial. Right now, the other representatives and I administer the club. As this is a special case (the board is gone), now all members have the right to vote for changes. Changes may be suggested by both the departments' leaders and the members themselves. This means that basically anything can happen.
The higher ups made a terrible mistake and members think now that the whole staff is involved. How can I make clear that this was something that nobody was aware of except the board and that the staff did not know of such actions? How can I build up trust again?