Board members of the foster care agency Isaiah’s Place reviewed the books after Troy police searched the nonprofit’s offices Nov. 23 and subsequently received the resignation of director Kelley Gunter and terminated fiscal officer Matthew Gunter, organization lawyer Steven Justice said.
A sworn statement of a Troy police detective with details of alleged misuse of more than $100,000 in Isaiah’s Place funds was used to obtain court approval of the search warrant executed at the agency Nov. 23.
The search warrant served at the agency’s Wayne Street offices subsequently was filed in Miami County Municipal Court.
Police said an agency employee told them funds have been used for casino trips and gambling, home repairs and vacations, among other spending.
“After this came to light, we did our own internal review of financial statements and we determined, based on the review, there was factual support with what Detective Baker set forth,” Justice said of the search warrant
The board subsequently received the resignation of Kelley Gunter and terminated Matthew Gunter. They are siblings.
Employee Irene Early has been named interim director as Justice and board members work with the state on ensuring the agency continues operations.
“The others who work there are very hard working people who do a fantastic job of running the agency,” Justice said. “We have been doing all we can to work with the agency to help it come out of this.”
He said he agency board members were “shocked” when they learned of the allegations days before the search.
Justice said the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services license Isaiah’s Place every two years as a private child placement agency.
Police said in the search warrant affidavit that the employee came forward, with an attorney, knowing that an audit was coming.
The search warrant states the investigation involves possible tampering with records, theft and falsification. Subpoenas also have been obtained for bank records.
The agency had around 10 employees and works with approximately 50 foster parents and 120 children. “It has a great track record,” Justice said.
The search warrant inventory filed Nov. 28 in Miami County Municipal Court shows computers were seized along with bank records, receipts, tax paperwork, payroll documents, policies, training documents and board minutes.
Troy Police Capt. Jeff Kunkleman said police contacted the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for advice because of the number of documents seized.