STATE AUDIT: Lenoir Co. Non-Profit Director Misused Funds

The State Auditor's Office say the former executive director of a now-defunct non-profit to mentor at-risk kids misused state money.

The audit, released today, reports Kinston/Lenoir County One-on-One was investigated after a tip to the State Auditor's Hotline. The State Auditor's Office says former executive director Shawn Howard used a credit card to buy at least $5671 in items for personal use, including perfume, a microwave oven, a George Foreman grill, a flat screen TV, gasoline and tires.

One-on-One ceased operations June 30th, 2009, a month after the state pulled its funding over concern for Howard's spending.

The auditor's report says the former executive director misused $832 in travel funds for a trip to California that was never authorized. It claims another $2560 was improperly paid for other food and travel expenses.

The Auditor's Office has sent its findings to the local district attorney and the State Bureau of Investigation.

In a one-sentence response, Eric Pilson, former president of One-on-One told the state auditor that the board of directors "regrets it did not discover the misuse of funds by the former executive director as found in this report."

The audit also states the former president said "the former executive director admitted to misusing the credit card and assured him he would provide restitution." The audit reports that Howard submitted a $1000 personal check and returned his last paycheck of $1285 for a partial repayment.

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