BRADENTON, FLA. -- Manatee County began an investigation into the Manatee YMCA after receiving an email alleging the YMCA was making up information to justify money the county was giving it to fund programs.
The audit starts off by saying that the allegations that the Manatee YMCA submitted falsified information to support funding received from Manatee County have been substantiated.
The YMCA leadership has responded to the audit by saying there was no intent to defraud the county, but they admit mistakes were made.
“Our own internal investigation also showed flaws in our documentation, paperwork processes,” said Manatee YMCA Sean Allison.
The audit found the YMCA billed the county for programs performed in schools while school wasn’t in session, like holidays and weekends. The audit says the Y duplicated sign-in sheets used to support payments made for programs at separate schools.
In all the audit found 15 incidents totaling $178,256.01 believed to be fraudulent payments.
“We were flawed in some of our documentation, but what wasn’t flawed was the quality of service that we offered,” said Allison.
He said they fired one employee who falsified paperwork and have retrained their staff to avoid problems like this in the future.
Manatee County's audit puts some of the blame on county staff from the Community Services Department. The audit says the employees failed to monitor the agreements between the county and the Y.
“The County administrator, last week when this news came out, wasted no time in getting a letter out to all county employees reemphasizing the importance of accountability in our jobs,” said Nick Azzara, Information Outreach Manager.
As a result of the audits findings, two county employees, Tameka Moore and Michael Neuges are in the processes of being fired.
“The administrator wasted no time in taking action to ensure that this kind of error doesn’t occur again,” said Azzara.
Michael Neuges and Tameka Moore are both currently on administrative leave and both employees will have a chance to share there side of the story before their termination is complete. They will have a pre-termination hearing on Thursday, July 10.