Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Children's Fund Faces New Scrutiny; Board Approves Pair of New Positions

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Children's Fund Faces New Scrutiny; Board Approves Pair of New Positions

Article excerpt

The St. Louis County Children's Service Fund board approved funding for two new positions Wednesday amid criticism both of its new leadership and its past administration.

Internal documents obtained by the Post-Dispatch raise more questions about the

Service Fund's previous use of county credit cards, gifts from a consultant, and conflicts-of-interest regarding its employees, under previous director Kate Tansey.

In early October, Tansey abruptly left her $120,000-a-year position amid an FBI investigation into her management of the children's fund, which has so far allocated about $100 million in funding to local agencies that serve county children.

That investigation appears to have focused on the fund's transactions with a consultant with ties to the Excellence in Missouri Foundation, which was preparing to bid on a planned $1 million contract with the fund.

The documents highlight additional gifts and activity between the children's fund and consultant Jim Williamson, a former vice president of the Excellence in Missouri Foundation.

The Post-Dispatch has previously reported that Williamson wrote a $1,700 check to cover Tansey's travel to a conference. The latest documents indicate Williamson gave other gifts to the fund while under Tansey's direction, including a $1,200 check to pay for a member of one of its funded agencies to attend an Excellence in Missouri conference.

The documents also show a $689.25 charge paid by the fund for a six-day stay at a local Drury Hotel for the fund's deputy director. But hotel receipts suggest the employee was performing functions at the time for the Excellence in Missouri Foundation, not the Children's Service Fund.

The Post-Dispatch reported Monday that a top official with the Foundation said the organization has no ties with the Children's Service Fund.

Other emails describe job offers to employees to teach part-time classes at Washington University, which has programs that receive funding from the children's fund. …

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