State Reaches Settlement With Kinston Day Care

The owner of a day care in the East has agreed to a settlement with the state, over accusations of falsifying information.

Under the settlement with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Child Development, owner Susie Evans agrees to close a branch of Farmer-N-Dell Nursery in Kinston, known as Farmer-N-Dell II. She must replace herself as administrator of Farmer-N-Dell I within 90 days, after which she can perform no administrative duties at any day care she owns for 2 years.

Administrator Michelle Aldridge, who was accused of falsifying the documents with Evans, is barred from administrative duties for the next year.

The Division of Child Development said Evans and Aldridge falsified the documents to receive funding they didn't actually qualify for.

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The State Auditor's Office says it is turning over results of an investigation into a Kinston daycare center to the SBI & the District Attorney's Office.

In a report released Thursday morning, the state auditor says the Farmer-N-Dell Nursery "admitted falsifying documents" so it could receive state funding for which it did not qualify.

The daycare center was receiving More at Four and Smart Start funding through the Partnership for Children of Lenoir and Greene Counties. From 2002 to last year it received $757,910 in More at Four funds and $443,414 in Smart Start funds.

The Auditor's Office says Farmer-N-Dell falsified teacher W-2 forms to show higher salaries than those actually paid as well as falsifying reports to the North Carolina Employment Security Commission. The report says the daycare presented a false credential letter to the Partnership for Children, supposedly issued by the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services. It also says the daycare did not conduct monthly fire drills which are required by state law and falsified fire drill reports.

The report also questions why the daycare owner, who also was board secretary to the Partnership for Children, was allowed to co-sign checks made payable to her own center.

The State Auditor recommends Farmer-N-Dell pay back more than $190,000 it received when it did not meet state standards, that the Division of Child Development revoke its license, and that the Partnership for Children should verify credentials for all More at Four staff.

In a written response to the auditor's report, a lawyer for Farmer-N-Dell says the daycare had repaid the money in question and had voluntarily ceased participating in the More at Four program last July.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by can't believe it Location: NC on Feb 6, 2011 at 10:15 AM
    she should have to serve jail time for her crime against the state. where is justice here?
  • by dc director Location: another county on Feb 3, 2011 at 02:23 PM
    What farmer in the dell did was wrong. However, they still provided childcare and More at Four classroom space, teachers, and the pre-school program (the state's curriculum) to all those children. Therefore, the state probably took into account the cost of those services and adjusted the penalty accordingly. The state requires the More at Four teachers to earn the same salary and benefits as the public school teachers do. But, without other funding like public schools have to subsidize the teachers salaries, f-n-d made it look like they were paying those higher wages. They should have realized that More at Four alone wasn't enough to compete with the school system and give up after first or second year.
  • by Just ME on Feb 3, 2011 at 01:18 PM
    To: Hmmmm - That's what I'm thinking !
  • by Tyee Location: Hyde County on Feb 3, 2011 at 12:42 PM
    If the money they got does not equal the money that was repaid -----that agreement is a bad bargain for the people who are citizens of North Carolina. We need justice! Who was watching - nobody?
  • by WOW Location: Kinston on Feb 3, 2011 at 12:18 PM
    As a father of a child that I removed from this organization I am disappointed! If I were the one that had taken money incorrectly from the state I would be taken into custody, and have a criminal record! Susie gets a slap on the hand, and can no longer work as an administrator! Kudos to her lawyer! However, she still pulls in the profits!!! Parents reading this think twice before you chose this place. If they will scam the state, they will scam you! To the good employees of the location hold you head high! Your boss let you down! I thank God my child no longer goes there!!!
  • by Hmmm on Feb 3, 2011 at 11:15 AM
    I may be misunderstanding this, but this operation received more than a million dollars from the state in programs it didn't qualify for by purposly falsifying documents, and the punishment is to close a branch and temporarily ban the owner and administrator from their positions. It seems to me that justice would be repaying the money that was stolen from the state.
  • by fnd mom Location: ktown on Feb 3, 2011 at 10:56 AM
    although i am very disappointed in fnd's actions, my child has always had loving teachers and outstanding care. to be honest, however, if it were not for the lack of alternate choices in daycare, my child might not be at fnd. we will continue to support their childcare and hope that the new director will bring a breath of fresh air, positive changes, and honesty to the farmer n dell.
  • by The ECHO Location: Kinston on Feb 3, 2011 at 10:20 AM
    Susie Evans was the one who stood in front of God and everyone and swore that these allegations against her were wrong, bogus, and straight out lies. She steadfastly denied everything. Now she has accepted a plea deal. Seems to me that she is honestly no better than any of the sorry thugs going around sticking a gun in someone's face and robbing them of their hard earned money. She is an embarrassment to our community. The sad part is she will be able to continue working around our kids. She should be run out of town.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 3, 2011 at 09:50 AM
    If this day care was balsy enough to steal money from the state they are not entitled to, imagine what they could be stealing from the parents and treating their children. You would be crazy to let them care for your child.

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