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Pinellas Core Management Services director Paul Lackey resigns

The head of a Pinellas County agency created to provide stronger accountability for certain taxpayer-funded nonprofit groups resigned Friday amid community criticism and an audit that raised concerns about the agency's oversight performance.

Paul Lackey, the executive director of Pinellas Core Management Services since 2007, announced his resignation in a one-paragraph statement.

PCMS was created by the Pinellas Juvenile Welfare Board, a taxing authority that provides social services to children and families, to oversee 17 funded programs that provide after-school care and tutoring for children. During the 2007-2008 fiscal year, PCMS received nearly $5 million from the JWB.

The JWB board had received complaints about Lackey and his poor communication with the programs' leaders. The audit, released earlier this week, heightened concerns about the agency's management.

"When I saw the audit, I was very concerned," Gay Lancaster, the JWB's executive director, said Friday.

"There are pieces of that audit that would give any good board member cause for concern," said Elise Minkoff, a JWB board member and president of the PCMS board.

Among the audit's findings:

• A $150,000 line of credit that was secured by PCMS's inventory and accounts. The JWB was not aware of the line of credit.

• A bank overdraft of $207,742 and $5,655 paid in overdraft fees.

• Questions about the handling of a 2004 grant from the Eckerd Family Foundation to establish technology programs.

Lackey declined to comment and referred all questions to the JWB.

"I have great respect for the employees of PCMS and hope that you will support them during this trying time," he said in his statement.

Pinellas Core Management Services director Paul Lackey resigns 04/03/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 3, 2009 9:12pm]
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