Former Twin Falls Senior Center Employee: Dismissal Director Was “Dirty, Sneaky” | Local

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TWIN FALLS – A forensic audit and investigations by Twin Falls Police and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office exonerated the former director of the senior center who was fired by the board for concerns about mismanagement of funds.

In an executive session at a board meeting in September 2020, Barbara Mercer, then secretary of the board of the Twin Falls Senior Center, introduced a motion to fire Jeanette Roe “for lack of confidence. in his leadership ”, based on allegations of mismanagement of donated cash funds, possible misappropriation of cash funds, inability to retain staff and failure to come up with a plan to reopen the senior center, the lawsuit says. minutes of the meeting.

During the regular meeting, the board ordered a forensic audit of its financial records, according to the minutes of the centre’s board meeting which included the executive session to assess the professional performance of Roe.

“The audit should exonerate me because there is nothing there,” Roe told the Timetable-News at the time. “My accounting is impeccable.

Recent investigations into the allegations have revealed no criminal activity by Roe.






Michelle Thomas, left, and Lisa Belt prepare and pack meals for seniors on June 30 at Twin Falls Senior Center. The center serves meals suitable for elderly people with diabetes or on a gluten-free diet.


DREW NASH, TIMES-NEWS


Twin Falls Police Detective Brian Maughan investigated Mercer’s allegations that Roe stole or misappropriated money donated at the center, which could have resulted in charges of grand theft. Roe provided a copy of Maughan’s investigation to The Times-News.

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At the College of Southern Idaho’s Office on Aging, the agency that administers federal and state funds at the senior center, principal Suzanne McCampbell and contract manager Shawna Wasko told Maughan that Roe “is meticulous in her record keeping. and never gave them cause to doubt his integrity and honesty … “and that” Roe kept very detailed records down to the penny. “

That evening in September 2020, the board appointed Mercer to replace Roe. Mercer resigned from the center in March. The center has seen many directors since Roe’s dismissal 14 months ago, the centre’s newsletter says.

Mercer declined to comment on Tuesday on the results of the audit, conducted by fraud investigator Jason Olson of Eide Bailly in Minneapolis, saying she was no longer affiliated with the center. When asked how much the forensic audit cost the senior center, Mercer said she was “not free to speak at the moment.”






Feeding seniors

Michelle Thomas pours gravy on chicken fried steak platters that are frozen and intended to be reheated in senior residences on June 30 at the Twin Falls Senior Center.


DREW NASH, TIMES-NEWS


According to Guidestar.org, an organization that maintains a database of nonprofit organizations’ income and expenses, the center reported gross income of $ 576,404, zero net income and expenses of $ 642,748 in 2018. , the most recent year for which records are available.

The center served 16,901 hot meals and 61,806 hot meals delivered to homes in 2018, Guidestar said. It also offered craft, recreational and social activities to the elderly. That year, 2,000 people used the centre’s services.

The center at 530 Shoshone Street West is closed due to COVID-19 issues, but continues to prepare and deliver “meals on wheels.”

Richard Cook served as chairman of the board for six years, before stepping down in February 2020. He spoke to The Times-News shortly after Roe’s sacking. Cook died on August 31.

“Jeanette worked her tail to get money for the center,” he said.

Roe could be “tough” in a pragmatic way, which angered employees and board members, Cook said. “But she’s running a tight ship.”

Former board member John Kapeleris told police he was aware of an “anti-Jeanette faction on the board,” according to Maughan’s report.

“I shouldn’t be biased but I’m glad I was part of (Roe’s) release,” said Kapeleris, who had said at the time Roe was fired. “She did so much good for so many people while she was there.”

Cook heard Mercer’s complaints against Roe and called them ridiculous.

Roe, who had been in charge of the senior center since 2012, did not have access to the centre’s checking account and all checks require the signatures of board chair Desiree Carr and Mercer, said the deceased Cook. in September.

The senior center did not apologize to Roe or senior center worker Verna Folsom, who, according to board minutes, was fired the same night for being the accomplice by Roe.

“What the council did was dirty, devious and (the accusations were) false,” Folsom said Tuesday.

The Twin Falls Senior Center is operated by the nonprofit Twin Falls Senior Citizens Federation Inc. The town of Twin Falls owns the center building but has no oversight over the operation of the center, the porter said. word of town, Josh Palmer.

“It was a coup,” Cook told the Timetable-News. “I find it difficult to understand how the board behaved with the president and the secretary.

“I think they should be thrown in jail.”


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