Board president: Tri County seeks ‘transparency’


Transparency will be paramount in dealing with the public as the Tri County Community Action Commission’s board of directors works to get the social services agency back on its feet, board president Al Evans said Wednesday.

“The only way we are going to save this organization and have any sort of credibility is to be as transparent as we can,” Mr. Evans said. “We need to regain the public trust. We realize we have an image problem and we are going to address that.”

Tri County, which provides a variety of social service programs in Champaign, Logan and Shelby counties, has had numerous financial problems in recent years, which have already prompted the Ohio Developmental Services Agency to turn control of the weatherization and utilities assistance programs to the unaffiliated Community Action Organization of Delaware, Madison and Union Counties.

In developments over the past two weeks, the Tri County board asked director Denise Birt to resign before placing her on unpaid administrative leave as it investigated the agency’s financial picture. There is no pending investigation into flagrant acts of wrongdoing on Ms. Birt’s part, Mr. Evans said Wednesday.

“I don’t think Ms. Birt has taken any money or done anything that would rise to the level of a felony,” he said. “I think she was trying to juggle a thing that blew out of control and became overwhelming. I don’t think anybody did anything that was intentionally illegal to try to defraud the people.”


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