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State files suit against A.D. Smith over $144,000 in feeding program funds

By Walter Geiger The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) has filed suit against a local firm for over $144,000 in allegedly misappropriated funds earmarked for the local summer feeding program. Problems were found during fiscal reviews of A.D. Smith Community Services’ handling of funds conducted in the summer of 2016. The firm, headed by April Smith-Scott, began administering feeding programs in March, 2009. A complaint for Breach of Contract and a demand for repayment of $144,062.83, interest and other relief was filed in Lamar superior court Feb. 2 by the Georgia attorney general’s office. The original reviews turned up money spent on disallowed expenses in the amount of $59,036.47 and disallowed meals in the amount of $3,237.88 in fiscal year 2016. DECAL moved to terminate its relationship with the Smith organization in March, 2017. Neither Smith nor her partner Stead Walker appealed. They were officially removed as providers on April 4, 2016. DECAL conducted a second review in early 2017 and an additional $80,474.48 in misappropriated funds was discovered. Neither Smith nor Walker responded to three separate demand letters issued over the balance of 2017, resulting in last week’s legal action. The case should appear on an upcoming civil court docket within a few weeks.

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