GCCAA could face state audit - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

GCCAA could face state audit

The Hancock County Board of Supervisors agreed not to appoint another representative until the agency has been audited. (Photo source: WLOX) The Hancock County Board of Supervisors agreed not to appoint another representative until the agency has been audited. (Photo source: WLOX)
Rhonda Gamble (L) and Christina Richardson (R) spoke to the board about why they resigned from the GCCAA. (Photo source: WLOX) Rhonda Gamble (L) and Christina Richardson (R) spoke to the board about why they resigned from the GCCAA. (Photo source: WLOX)
HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

A state audit of the Gulf Coast Community Action Agency could be in the works. The agency came under fire when the state deemed it an at risk agency in December of 2014. It almost lost funding for the head start program.

In the past two weeks, five members of the GCCAA have resigned. That includes all the representatives from Hancock County.

Two of those former members went before the Hancock County Board of Supervisors to ask the board not to appoint anyone until the board looks deeper into the agency. 

“When we came before the supervisors today we wanted to give them back up information that showed why we were taking the actions and why we were asking them to act,” said Richardson.

Those resigned members are claiming there's an assortment of discrepancies within the agency. Discrepancies so concerning, that they refuse to let up until something major is done.

“What this is about is protecting the resources, the government funded grants and resources that are out there for the poverty sector of the community,” said Rhonda Gamble.

Those who have resigned from GCCAA have cited mishandling of grant and FEMA money, along with closed door meetings and a host of other issues.

Agency representative Pam Fairley says she knows the organization has it problems.

“We have a lot of problems that we are dealing with day to day, but we are tackling these problems head on and trying our best to turn this agency around,” said Fairley.

Fairley went before the board of supervisors asking that supervisors appoint a new Hancock County representative since the others had resigned. However, the board of supervisors did not feel comfortable seating a new representative at this time.

"This board is not ready to do so until we get answers to our questions and there's a lot of them,” said Hancock County Board of Supervisors President Lisa Cowand.

After Fairley's presentation to the board, supervisors motioned that the organization be audited.

“We will be asking the state auditor to take a look at it to see if he will do an audit for it, just to make sure that moving forward all the federal funds are used appropriately,” said Cowand. 

Fairley says GCCAA would agree to the audit if the agency does not have to pay for it. She says the agency will be able to move forward with selecting a new executive director without the appointment of a Hancock County representative.

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