DHEC calls out PAR chair for knowing about financial issues - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

DHEC calls out PAR chair for knowing about financial issues for over a year

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File Photo (WCIV) File Photo (WCIV)

By Sandra Ecklund and Lia Sestric
secklund@abcnews4.com

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- In a newly acquired letter to People Against Rape chairperson Lt. M.A. Roach from the Department of Health and Environmental Control, DHEC's director of administration Barbara Derrick says PAR was well aware of their money issues for over a year.

"The issues that you disclosed raise many concerns, including your failure to timely report these issues since more than a year has elapsed since you became aware of the diversion of state and federal funding," Derrick states in the letter. "As far back as 2010, the Department raised concerns with you about the lack of financial controls, and yet insufficient action was taken to prevent fraudulent activity by a PAR employee."

PAR Board chairperson Michael Roach has said that a former PAR employee walked away with up to $80,000 from the organization. Following that, a state grant worth nearly $300,000 from the Department of Public Safety was suspended.

"No additional state dollars will be reimbursed to PAR until an audit is completed by an external auditor detailing all financial discrepancies," Derrick states in her letter. "PAR must demonstrate that safeguards are put into place to ensure the proper use of funding."

An investigation is underway regarding the former bookkeeper. An audit is also underway.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the possible mismanagement of funds at People Against Rape. It is unclear when the investigation or the audit will be completed.

To read the letter in its entirety, click here.

ABC News 4 spoke with Michael Roach and he said the IRS was sending tax returns to a former employee in payroll but she never forwarded them on.

"They are jumping on us because we should have reported sooner," said Roach.  "Had we known we would have reported it."

Roach also says the landlord "didn't know rent wasn't being paid," and asks how would they (PAR) have known either. He also finds fault with DHEC using his rank with the Moncks Corner police in addressing him. "My position with the police department has nothing to do with this," he said.

He says he is currently working on getting all records copied for the SLED investigation.

"It is what it is," he said.

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