Meridian Star

Local News

August 31, 2013

State audit of Wesley House questions spending

MERIDIAN —

An audit of the Wesley House Community Center in Meridian by the Secretary of State listed in a preliminary report missing memos on checks or in ledgers omitting the purpose of a transaction; inaccurate or misleading information in documents provided to the Secretary of State's Office during the audit; questionable business decisions that may indicate a lack of fiduciary responsibility; certain expenses not related to charitable purposes; and other financial transactions not related to the charitable purpose. 

Kris Gianakas, chairman of the finance committee for Wesley House, said on the surface the findings in the report look much worse than they actually are and involve issues that have either already been dealt with or that are easily explained.

"The fact is probably 99 percent of non-profits are not compliant on everything required by state statute because the operators of those organizations are not well versed in all the laws," Gianakas said. "We haven't broken any laws at Wesley House."

There were five findings in the summary report compiled by Kim Anderson, senior examiner for the Charities Division of the Secretary of State's Office sent to Wesley House Executive Director Ginger Grissom Stevens and the agency's board of directors.

Stevens could not be reached for comment Friday but Gianakas addressed each of the findings in the audit.

Gianakas said missing information on checks detailing the purpose of the transactions was a clerical error that has been rectified. He said almost all non-profits, in trying to keep up with donations and services, have workers who are not well versed in keeping track of what comes in and what goes out of a charitable organization.

The second finding, concerning misleading information to the Secretary of State's Office, concerned a misunderstanding by Stevens on what was considered fundraising and what wasn't, Gianakas said.

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