Crossroads audit completed

Published 6:40 pm Thursday, November 11, 2021

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After two rounds of forensic auditing with no unlawful misappropriation of funds found, the Crossroads Community Services Board (CCSB) has finally had its name cleared amongst allegations of mismanagement and fraud.

In a release dated Oct. 28, CCSB announced the completion of Phase 1(b) of the organization’s forensic audit.

Organized in 1973, Crossroads supports the residents of Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward counties with mental health, substance use and developmental disability services.

In June, the Prince Edward Board of Supervisors said it would withhold funds from Crossroads unless an audit was performed following concerns voiced by both current and former employees as well as members of the public regarding the rumored expenditure/misuse of public funds and other management issues.

The audit, conducted by William Barrett of Barrett PC in Richmond and covering the fiscal years of 2019, 2020 and 2021, aimed to identify any indicators of fraud or malfeasance in the organization and to help reestablish credibility of CCSB across the many counties it serves and the citizens of those localities.

Phase 1(a) of the audit, completed in August, yielded no unlawful activities or misappropriation of funds, but Barrett recommended a second phase be conducted in order to look into the accuracy of the nonprofit’s expenditures.

Phase 1(b) of the forensic investigation, completed in October, once again yielded no unlawful misappropriation of funds.

While Barrett did not detect any wrongdoing during his investigations, he emphasized in the executive summary of the second phase of the audit that “the current accounting software (of CCSB) is antiquated, and the current financial staff, while highly dedicated, professional and competent, is understaffed.”

Barrett recommended a fund accounting software implementation program and budget be established by Crossroads and approved by the Board, noting additional fund accounting staff should be hired to meet the increasing demands of budgeting and financial reporting in the organization. He also recommended a manual analysis of restricted and unrestricted fund balances be carried out and reported to directors.

“It is, therefore, my professional opinion that the forensic audit of Crossroads Community Services Board is completed.”

The completion of the audit brings to a close a lengthy controversial period for Crossroads following several allegations against the organization, including concerns such as financial statement fraud, food stamp, credit card and gas card fraud and financial document shredding.

In May of this year, former Crossroads Executive Director Dr. Susan Baker was relieved of her duties after six years with the organization following complaints of mismanagement.

Following the release of the Phase 1(b) audit results, several CCSB board members expressed their satisfaction with the findings and excitement for the organization to move forward with the slate wiped clean.

“We are pleased with the audit, and it paves the way for a smooth transition for our new executive leader,” CCSB Prince Edward Supervisor Member Dr. Odessa Pride said.

“I’m pleased with the findings of the audit and glad we made the decision with Prince Edward leading the push, alongside other counties, to move forward with this process to ensure taxpayer’s dollars were and are being allocated to help our most vulnerable populations,” Buckingham Supervisor Thomas Jordan Miles III stated. “We desperately need to update our accounting software and better staff our agency’s finance department, as noted in the audit. It’s my hope this audit shows the community and our clients that the CSB is serious about fulfilling our mission in the region. Having a demonstrated clean slate will also be important as we hire a new executive director to lead the agency and empower them with proven financial stability.”

“I am very pleased with the outcome,” Charlotte Supervisor Member Garland Hamlett said. “It was very costly, and nothing criminal was found. Hopefully, this will clear up the negative perceptions about Crossroads Community Services Board.  The staff are doing an exceptional job serving their clients, and the counties that this service is provided to should be extremely proud of them.”

“I could not be happier with the results of the forensic audit,” Lunenburg Supervisor Member Wayne Hoover stated. “Congratulations to the staff at Crossroads for proving the naysayers wrong.  Hopefully now we all can focus on what’s really important; the clients that depend on Crossroads’ services each and every day.”

“I would like to express thanks to all of the Crossroads staff for their continued hard work and dedication to supporting the individuals in our seven county catchment area,” CCSB Interim Executive Director Pam Wallace said. “I would also commend those who were involved in providing information for these audits. It was very time consuming and tedious, but the staff were more than willing to provide the required documentation and information it took for us to complete this task. We will continue providing quality services to our community and being good stewards of the funding that we receive to do so.”

“The audit brought the Crossroads Community Services Board and the Boards of Supervisors for the counties more in tune with each other,” CCSB Board Chair Carmalita Escoto said. “As noted during this process, it is a more involved community that assists a more involved community services board.”