Workers from PAR now volunteering with organization

Workers from PAR now volunteering with organization

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Possible fraud and theft now under investigation at local rape crisis center, and now employees who were just laid off are speaking out.

Ruby Godley is busy at work at the People Against Rape crisis center. But the agency laid off her and 10 other employees, so she won't be getting paid.

"It's devastating to hear that news. You are concerned for your own well-being, but more importantly the people that you work with," Godley said.

All grant funding to the agency was suspended after the possibility of stolen funds by a former employee. Board members with the non-profit say anywhere to $65,000 to $80,000 is missing. Former employees are now volunteering because they say sexual assault victims need help.

"We have a lot of clients, a lot of new clients, a lot of continuing clients, and I would hate to see them not get services," Shaquana Grant said.

For the time being PAR is operating with a staff of just two, but in the future PAR board members hope to bring back more employees and get grant money reinstated.

Board member Vickey Cornelison Grant says PAR will continue to serve rape victims, relying heavily on volunteer advocates. She's making a plea on behalf of the workers that were laid off to other non-profits or agencies that could use help in areas such as human services or case management.

"They have skills in all of those areas. If folks have any vacancies I hope that they will consider calling us and letting us facilitate a meeting or at least allow our employees to submit an application to be considered," Grant said.

PAR's board chairman says a former book keeper for the agency submitted inaccurate and fraudulent requests on several grants, and the employee did not pay rent and withheld taxes.

For now PAR is undergoing an audit to find out what may have happened to the money.

North Charleston Police and the IRS are involved in the investigation.

So far no one has been charged.

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