LAURINBURG, NC (WECT) - The Executive Director of a non-profit organization that serves Bladen, Brunswick, Pender and Columbus Counties has been fired, following an audit by the NC Department of Health and Human Services.
Richard Greene was the Executive Director of Four-County Community Services until recently. Four County has been operating since 1964. It operates Head Start facilities and other services for eastern North Carolina.
A six-month investigation by the state was launched after a series of complaints regarding mismanagement of state funds. According to the report, DHHS reviewed a total of eighteen allegations, fifteen of which were found to be true. Ten of the allegations were "of such serious concern that management should refer these allegations to the NC Office of the State Auditor Office for further review."
The report found that while director of Four County, Greene would routinely use his agency vehicle for personal use. Greene said in interviews with investigators that he liked to fish and used the agency vehicle to pull his boat to various lakes in North Carolina and surrounding states. Greene said he did not see anything wrong with using the vehicle to go fishing and would go to as many as six fishing tournaments in a month during the fishing season.
Another allegation that was made and proven through the investigation was that Greene was secretly married to the FCCS's Fiscal Manager. Greene admitted in interviews that he had been married for nine years to Annie Rothwell but preferred to keep it a private matter. Greene said some FCCS board members knew of the relationship, but had never disclosed it to the full board. According to the report, it appears that the relationship violated FCCS employment policy.
The report recommends that DHHS consider labeling FCCS as a high risk agency until the issues identified in the report can be resolved.
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