- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) - The Wesley House Community Center has agreed to correction violations of the Mississippi Charities Act.

A consent agreement was entered Jan. 31 by Wesley board president Michael D. Vick and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

The board said Monday in a statement that Wesley House has “made appropriate adjustments to bookkeeping procedures” and reported” and it has adopted recommended policies and procedures to improve oversight of Wesley House.

The examination by the Hosemann’s office found Wesley House had not kept adequate books and records of its financial transactions. Among items named listing 90 percent of executive director Ginger Grissom Stevens‘ salary as program services and allowing her to charge clothing and other personal items totaling $56,000 on the charity’s credit card. Vicks said Stevens repaid the money.

“Certain violations of the Mississippi Charities Act Rules were identified,” Vick said in the statement. “Unfortunately, that examination resulted in adverse publicity to which Wesley House was unable to respond pending completion of the audit.”

Among other things, Wesley House will pay $5,600 to the secretary of state’s office; the vehicle used by Stevens will only be used for charity business; no personal expenses will be paid with the charity’s credit card; that there will be more “oversight over the day-to-day operations of the charity and the “board will discuss, approve, vote and document in advance all expenses paid by Wesley House.”

Last August, Hosemann’s office sent a letter to Wesley House executive director Ginger Grissom Stevens, listing findings from its preliminary report.

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