Buckingham joins chorus calling for audit of Crossroads

Published 8:21 am Monday, June 21, 2021

Add Buckingham County to the list of counties asking the Board of Directors of the Crossroads Community Services Board to call for a forensic audit on the organization’s finances the past three fiscal years.

What began as a resolution from the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors to take a close look at Crossroads’ finances following the dismissal of former Executive Director Susan Baker has now resulted in at least five of the seven counties the organization serves agreeing that a forensic audit is needed. The issue was not on the latest agenda of the Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors.

When Prince Edward made the call for the forensic audit, no specific items were mentioned, but in discussions in Buckingham and Charlotte County, officials have alleged Crossroads took a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of more than $2 million from the federal government.

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Charlotte County Administrator Dan Witt said the two board members who represent Charlotte County had no knowledge of the PPP loan.

Thomas Jordan Miles III

Buckingham Board Vice Chairman Thomas Jordan Miles III, who serves as Buckingham’s elected representative on the Crossroads board, told the Board of Supervisors at its Monday, June 14, meeting there are lots of questions that need answers.

“There have been a lot of questions by current staff, former staff and those in the community, especially county administrators and boards of supervisors,” Miles said. “I’m on the finance committee for the Crossroads Community Services Board, and some of the biggest questions we have outstanding, there was a Payroll Protection Plan loan that was forgiven of about $2.4 million. We don’t know exactly how that money, the savings, is going to be rolled into the upcoming fiscal year for the Crossroads agency.”

Unlike other counties, Buckingham’s resolution to call for a forensic audit does not threaten to withhold county funding from the organization if an audit is not conducted.

Miles said the Office of the Inspector General has been contacted about the organization several times.

“Obviously, the agency has some lingering issues,” Miles said.

He said the resolution also calls for a firm to also audit the policies and internal controls of the agency and make recommendations for improvements.

“There’s been a lot of questioning as to the agency not correctly following its policies, internal controls and lots of budgetary questions,” Miles said.

Questions concerning the PPP loan were sent by email to Crossroads Interim Director Pam Wallace last week. No response had been received as of the time this story was published. The organization is currently conducting a search for a new executive director.

The Crossroads Board of Directors is scheduled to meet Tuesday, June 23, at 7 p.m.