LCCAA – lots of “action” here- not all HELP ( ful)

January 8, 2012 at 7:03 pm 12 comments

UPDATE: Audit finds and response to the letter……

LORAIN — Accusations in an anonymous letter of intentional underpayments of workers at the Lorain County Community Action Agency were unfounded, the antipoverty agency’s acting CEO and president said Thursday.

A biannual audit by the Ohio Department of Development found “no credence” to the accusation, acting CEO Jackie Boehnlein told the agency’s Board of Directors at its monthly meeting Thursday

The news keeps coming as to this agency and its “members”
LCCAA has also been “helped”

NOTE emphasis mine.

Council voted 9-1 in favor of the ordinance that will allow Director of Public Service Robert Gilchrist to buy the loans from Texas lender FH Partners. Council had rejected two previous proposals from the administration to buy the loans.

“I`m relieved,” Gilchrist said. “When you are responsible for the retention and the expansion of business in your city, the retention of a business that offers a good service in your community is a good thing.”

William Locke, executive director of LCCAA, said he was happy with Council`s decision. The deal will lower LCCAA`s lease payments on 502 and 506 Broadway from $6,000 a month to $2,500 a month for 15 years.

“I`m glad that Council finally passed the business deal for us,” Locke said. “It benefits all concerned. When I came back on the board in November 2006, we worked on how to eliminate some of these hurdles.”

The city will hold the mortgages, and LCCAA will make monthly lease payments, Gilchrist said, adding the lease money will go back into the revolving loan fund used to finance the deal. The loans have a current value of $825,000.

Now funny thing down the road that same Robert Gilchrist left the city and joined LCCAA-

If you were a cynic ( which I am) you could say he saved at least one job BUT not for long see Mr. Gilchrist had his own problems one being alleged “voter fraud”

and then he was as the Morning Journal put it “Dumped”

seems through the years LCCAA has had many problems :

•On July 28, William Locke, former agency executive director, was accused of harassment in a wrongful firing lawsuit filed by Holly Neely, former agency senior services coordinator.
•On July 12, Vince Urbin, former agency community service director, quit after pleading no contest to charges of soliciting a prostitute.
•In 2008, Elizabeth Young, former agency assistant director of housing, was sentenced to three years’ probation related to her stealing federal taxpayer money slated to help poor people pay their heating bills. Young used the money to pay her utility bills.
•In 2006, agency department heads were accused of cronyism, nepotism, misuse of money and inflating Head Start enrollment figures.

Please Note the 2006 accusations …. in 2011 that is the same accusations rearing its head in the latest letter.

And then we have in November:

Therese McCann, a community support specialist for the agency who was arrested Nov. 5 by the Ohio Highway Patrol. McCann, who was later fired from the agency, is charged with tampering with records, theft, driving under suspension, failure to signal, a registration violation and unauthorized use of license plates, according to Elyria Municipal Court records.

……she saw a stack of registration stickers in the LCCAA offices, took one and made a color copy of it. She then laminated the copy and attached it to the license plate on the back of her Focus

As regular readers are aware “this” “that woman” was drawn into the “target area” of the President of the Board of LCCAA and 3rd ward council person Tim Howard. You see he sent out an e-mail in support of Mr. Gilchrist ( found in the link) that I found questionable in content considering the effect it had. I called him to see if indeed he was the writer of the e-mail, Howard’s reaction upon my questions was less than polite and bullying in tone (in my humble opinion from one who was on the receiving end). Documented here:

Howard by this time was yelling – loud enough to be heard by my husband ( who was shaking his head and mouthing NOW WHAT ?? )


Interestingly enough Mr. Howard is one of the three very recent resignations due to health reasons.

The resignations of Howard, Vice Chairman Robert Weir and Executive Director Bill Locke announced during Wednesday’s emergency board meeting came as the agency was responding to allegations of mismanagement contained in an anonymous letter sent last month to the Ohio Department of Development and others.

The letter from the employees can be found here :CLICK ON TO ENLARGE
Page One

Page Two

Page Three

Photo Source Morning Journal

Now in fairness Mr. Locke mentioned in most articles and a “driving force” ( I hope he got his license 😉
has this to say to members of the community: You can find the full letter here

AS I plan to make my final exit as the president and CEO of the Lorain County Community Action Agency; I wanted to leave some thoughts for the “Community.” This open letter becomes more imperative in light of the unsigned letter dated Dec. 9, 2011, that has been circulated to the local media and was originally sent to the State of Ohio and to the Federal Department of Health and Human Services

In October 2006 I was called by the board and asked if I would return on an interim basis to help stabilize the organization. I reluctantly agreed and upon my return I found the organization on the brink of being shut down. The organization had a multitude of financial and operational issues ranging from financial going concerns and other financial ratio issues. The organization was about to lose the Head Start program because of deficiencies and non-compliance issues. Bottom line, we turned the organization around, and when I retired again July 31, 2011, LCCAA was considered to be one of the best operating community action agencies in the state. During the week of April 17, 2011, a team of federal reviewers conducted a triennial review of our Head Start program and there are no identified areas of noncompliance. When I retired for the second time on July 31, 2011, I left the organization operating efficiently. The Head Start review and the soon to be completed audits will confirm the previous statement

Obviously this agency who has apparently combined with EHCAC
has some major problems of “trust” and employees/ staff etc. crossing the “legal lines”.

This coming hard on the heels of the survey from the Plain Dealer
where only 23% of Lorainites trust their government I would think this 11 million dollar a year non profit needs to “take a good look inwards and outwards”.

And just a note to Lorain City Council and Administration I would certainly hope that before considering giving this agency any more space such as “Streator Park” you request they first get their own house in order before giving them another of ours!

Photo Source

Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, city of lorain, hell is other people, media, notorious opponents of exactitude, Open for Discussion. Tags: , , , .

” Win / Win” but not for the consumer Mark Puente- What Price Lunch??? Journalistic Integrity ala carte

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. aka mozart  |  January 8, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Glad to see this up Loraine…i do not have the time at this moment to read it entirely..but I will…(that picture of the old library looks awfully familiar) lol!

  • 2. Lisa  |  January 8, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    From what I’ve heard, it’s going to take a lot of $$ to make that old library fit for human occupation again. Seems someone turned off the heat but not the water, resulting in burst pipes and serious flooding.

  • 3. Loraine Ritchey  |  January 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Oh Lisa silly you you forget they come to the “well” of the taxpayer.. it is bottomless you know …….. Although I do think it is a terrible shame this beautiful old building with such provenance has been allowed to become what it has…. I wonder if the city had insurance?????

  • 4. aka mozart  |  January 8, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    The poor building aint what it used to be…and the park is just a drop off for parents who don’t care to watch their kids. Drug deals there..this was an e-mail i had recieved re: streator park. from police…..

    “.My two man team was at the park to monitor things and say a possible drug deal. Suspects fled on foot and they gave chase. Suspect tried to get gun and officers wrestled to ground”…..etc….

    It is just a shame..everything!


  • 5. Grammy  |  January 9, 2012 at 12:30 am

    It’s a shame that there has not been a valid response to the allegations, other than to say it was not signed (A-noe-moose) With those things happening, it would be difficult for any employee to sign on the dotted line for fear of retribution. Just answer the charges, open the books and move forward. OOOPS, forgot, they had to drop out of the positions due to “illness”. So said, will the taxpayers ever get answers to any of the charges, allegations, questions.

    By the way, if we are to share another building with them, let them fix it up, we’ve already bailed they out once. Stay where you are and do your job instead of looking to move around again. Moving is not going to help your clients.

  • 6. Loraine Ritchey  |  January 9, 2012 at 11:49 am

    It is true there are unsigned letters that one should not take any notice of but I can understand the need to remain incognito in some instances …. the “whistle blower” protection is decidely lacking….. if you came out with concerns about your place of employment it is true you are “supposedly protected ” BUT try having that on a resume and getting another position…… there is the way it is suppose to work and the reality.

    This letter seems to have on the face of it verifyable instances and that is what they are asking for a detailed investigation into those allegations. I hope that happens for everyone’s sake and not just a cursory look over………. This agency has a good budget that comes down from the taxpayer..

  • 7. Mark  |  January 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Corruption and misuse of funds, equipment, vehicles…everywhere. Makes me sicker every time I see something like this. Nicely done, Loraine, as always.

  • 8. Brian  |  January 10, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I just don’t know what to believe any more when it comes to our government officials. Things are bad at LCCAA, but combined with possible soon to be revelations about some other governmental employees and other nonprofits out of Cleveland ones head starts to spin.

  • 9. Loraine Ritchey  |  January 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Yes I know, how about Lorain’s old Building Inspector Desvari he cashed ( he pleaded guilty) to 15 years of cashing his dead aunt’s SS checks for 15 YEARS now that is not only as greedy and despicable ( robbing the dead if you ask me) ( don’t get me going on that aspect- brings a certain fund raiser to mind and what happened to that money)….. but is plain STUPID!! and these “stupid” types are making decisions for all of us errgggggggg

  • 10. Brian  |  January 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    I know, then the one about the corvette and cash that I heard about recently…

  • 11. Loraine Ritchey  |  January 10, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    that corvette one is an old one 🙂 more stuff happening I am told will wait and see………

  • 12. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 24, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I have updated this post with the following article from the Chronicle

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January 2012

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