Crossroads board embraces audit efforts

Published 8:36 pm Friday, August 27, 2021

Emphasizing they were never against the idea of conducting a forensic audit, the Crossroads Board of Directors embraced Prince Edward County’s initiative to begin a forensic audit on the organization and dropped its plans to conduct a similar audit.

“We were still very much for the audit,” Crossroads board member and Lunenburg County Supervisor Wayne Hoover said. “The only reason we voted to do away with the (ad hoc audit) committee was to make sure it was unbiased, untainted. We were going to bring back the proposals to the board and vote on them.”

The Crossroads board was considering a forensic audit after five of seven boards of supervisors in the Crossroads CSB territory asked the organization to take a closer look at its finances to make sure nothing untoward occurred. The request came following the Crossroads board’s dismissal of the organization’s executive director in April.

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While the Crossroads board was waiting on firms to respond to their request or proposal, the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors voted to move forward with its own forensic audit of the organization. That audit is currently ongoing.

“We think it is going well,” Crossroads Interim Director Pam Wallace said of the audit. “Everything he is asking for, we are pulling for him. He seems to be pleased with what is going on so far.”

The move by Prince Edward’s board meant the Crossroads organization could potentially have two forensic audits happening at the same time. The board decided that probably wasn’t a good idea.

“I just don’t think it makes a lot of sense to do two separate audits that are going to be doing the same thing, more or less,” Crossroads Board Member and Buckingham County Supervisor Thomas Jordan Miles III said. “I’m glad that Prince Edward is doing this. I think the majority of us here wanted to see that action.

“We just need to put this issue to bed.”

Wallace said a firm out of Richmond was interested in performing the forensic audit for Crossroads. She was scheduled to have a conference call with them Wednesday, Aug. 25.

“I had just put them off until we had this discussion to see if we were going to move forward with our RFP or if we are just going to go with what is happening currently with what Prince Edward County has put in motion,” Wallace said.

Hoover said it just makes sense to not reinvent the wheel in this instance.

“Let’s be honest, Prince Edward seems to be the ones that are kind of leading this thing. Let them do it. Whatever they find, if they find nothing, hopefully they will put it together, put the thing to bed, and we can move forward,” Hoover said.

The board voted to drop its plans for a separate audit and wait to see what comes from the audit currently being conducted under the direction of Prince Edward County.

In the public comments section of the meeting, Mary Jackson, a 22-year employee of Crossroads, said it was time for the board to come together and lead the organization forward as a cohesive unit.

“We want to get to business, and as I come out to these board meetings, it seems that there’s not much business that takes place. There’s a lot of back and forth with the board members that takes place. It’s kind of disheartening to come see that,” Jackson said. “I just want to see things improve and move from this point to a point of peace, consistency and working together.”

In other action, the board approved a brochure from consulting firm Baker Tilly that is helping the board identify candidates for the executive director position.