Senior Center Employees Caught Stealing
SPOKANE — Everyday Mid-City Concern feeds more than 400 elderly people in Spokane and for many it’s the only nutrition they get.
New charges allege the former director and office manager were the ones feeding off donations.
In November 2005, KXLY 4 covered a story about a leaky roof at Mid- City Concerns. Office Manager Rachelle Solomon showed us the damage and told us times were tough.
“And our finding is going down and down and down. City, state, all those type of things. And we’re barely making payroll,” Soloman said.
The Senior Center’s Executive Director Cheri Mataya-Muncton showed us a folder of unpaid bills. She said they needed the public’s help to stay afloat, at the same time, police allege the two women were stealing donations and racking up more bills for the center.
Prosecutors filed theft charges against Muncton and Soloman this week alleging they stole thousands of dollars.
Documents allege Muncton used a charity credit card to pay her personal bills, buy computers, a digital camera, home improvement projects for her own home and even take a two week vacation with Solomon to Florida. An audit discovered $81,00 in questionable expenditures.
“When we began to see how deep it went we were shocked,” said Paul Bodin, Board President.
Paul Bodin says the money Solomon and Muncton allegedly stole took food out of the mouths of needy people in Spokane.
“It’s a horrible violation of trust,” Bodin said.
Court documents say Solomon was caught stealing in September 2006 and Muncton laid her off instead of firing her so Solomon could collect unemployment. Muncton left a couple months later as the board began to investigate her spending.
Bodin says they have a new director and new policies so this can’t happen again.
“We have financial controls in place that will detect any effort at fraud and embezzlement early and nip it in the bud,” said Bodin.
Court documents allege Muncton paid employees hundreds of dollars in bonuses to keep quiet about her spending.
The non profit hopes the women will be forced to pay restitution if they are convicted.