United Way Withholds Funds from Agency

Meridian, Miss. The United Way of East Mississippi is withholding funding from one of its agencies until audit results are revealed by the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office.

Executive director, Thad Quarles, says Wesley House has been notified that monthly funding will stop, pending completion of the report.

The secretary of state's office audited the agency, and sent Wesley House officials a letter in August, asking for additional information regarding accounting practices and personal use of agency funds.

Quarles says United Way granted Wesley House $48,000 for 2013, but about $20,000 to $25,000 of that is on hold.

"Wesley House is an outstanding organization, been around for a long time, and has done a lot of good," said Quarles. "We're sure that they're going to come out of this, and comply with all of those recommendations. We're positive that's going to happen, but until that does happen, and our concerns are met, then we just felt like that it's necessary to suspend funding."

Newscenter 11 asked Wesley House officials for response.

"We are being advised not to comment until the final secretary of state's report is issued," said board president Mike Vick. "However, Wesley House is carrying out our mission helping thousands of children have a merry Christmas, and meeting the needs of less fortunate families for Thanksgiving."