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Local feeding program abuse back in the news

Broadcast reports aired last week once again focused the spotlight on alleged abuses by April Smith-Scott of the Barnesville firm A.D. Smith Community Services. Georgia’s Bright from the Start program began pumping money into Smith-Scott’s firm in 2011 in order to facilitate summer feeding programs for ‘˜needy’ children in Barnesville and Griffin. Such programs have long been rife with abuse but have been tightened up on in recent years following the implementation of an audits and compliance unit, according to Reg Griffin of Bright from the Start. Such an audit revealed Smith-Scott had spent $142,748.83 on things other than feeding children. Two employees, Sherry Jones and James Lindsey, have sued over pay they say they have not received for delivering food and other work. Authorities have had difficulty tracking the money Smith-Scott spent but they did find a check to David’s Bridal for $6,151. That is the business where Smith-Scott reportedly bought shoes and jewelry for the bridesmaids in her wedding, one of the first events held at Summers Field Park last April. According to Jones, the nuptials included a bridge of 27 wedding cakes and a stand where peanuts and Cokes were available. The bride and groom arrived in a horse-drawn carriage. Bright from the Start has crossed Smith-Scott off its list of approved grant recipients. She was to make the first monthly $6559 installment on her debt in January but failed to do so, Griffin said. ’We are still in the process of trying to collect the money from Ms. Scott which is part of our policy and procedure. (We) try and collect the money on a payment plan before pursuing other action. That would be handled by the attorney general’s office,’ Griffin concluded. Note: The Herald Gazette has filed an open records request for the complete file on the Smith-Scott case, including the audit report and correspondence between the parties.

One Comment

  1. mary scarpa mary scarpa November 16, 2023

    how in hell this multicomplex woman manages money is out of the norm!! For a wedding??? for shoes??? WHY ISN’T SHE IN JAIL?????????? ohhhh, I know—–poor little hungry kids bailed her out!!!!! lucky woman, even hungry little kids love her, , bless her heart.

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