Lafayette

Sep 26, 2013 5:35 PM by Dwayne fatherree, KATC TV-3

Treasurer: Foundation must provide documents or repay $300k

A Lafayette charity, one of 34 Louisiana Treasurer John Neely Kennedy labelled "non-compliant," has been sent a final demand letter requiring that it either provide four years worth of documentation of expenditures or repay a $300,000 grant.

In a letter provided to KATC from the Treasurer's office, The Colomb Foundation is being asked to provide:

-- A progress report on its operations covering the period from July 1, 2007 to Dec. 31, 2011.

-- A cost report covering the period from July 1, 2007 to Dec. 31, 2011.

-- Invoices, checks, payroll ledgers and other records for expenses to be reimbursed.

-- Cost for professional services covering the period from July 1, 2007 to Dec. 31, 2011.

-- Disclosure and certification statements from all subcontracotrs.

If the charity cannot provide those items by Oct. 15, according to the letter, it will have to repay the $300,000 grant in full on that date.

The Colomb Foundation is one of seven NGOs Kennedy targeted in a spech in July. Since that time, he has moved forward with audits and investigations in an attempt to recoup funds granted to the organizations.

Of the original 36 targeted, nine are now in compliance, according the Kennedy's office. Nineteen others have been referred to the the Office of Debt Collection and the state's Legislative Auditor.

The Colomb Foundation is based in Lafayette, but primarily runs a community center in Arnaudville. The community center was a dedication to Colomb's daugther, Dene Colomb, who was killed by serial killer Derrick Todd Lee. The organization has never filed tax returns with the IRS and its non-profit status was revoked in 2010 for that reason.

Along with the $300,000 the Colomb foundation received from the state in 2007, the organization has received a total of more than $1 million in state funding since 2004, according to financial audits filed with the state. Some $462,107 came from general state appropriations; $341,416 from capital outlay and $275,074 from the city of Baton Rouge.

Baton Rouge received state appropriations in 2010 and then funneled that money to the Colomb Community Center, according to WBRZ.

Documents show Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden signed off on it, and Patsy Parker, State Sen. Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb's legislative assistant, signed as a witness. Dorsey-Colomb and Sterling Colomb married in 2010. Dorsey-Colomb sat on the state House Appropriations Committee for a decade until she was elected to the state senate in 2008.

Founder Sterling Colomb has said his NGO does not belong on the list of organizations that have to return state funding.

 

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