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NARCOG director resigns

By By Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
The long-time director of the North-central Alabama Regional Council of Government resigned from his position June 22 on the heels of an audit that raised multiple questions about the organization’s operations.
NARCOG Executive Director Ronald Matthews had been with the organization for 27 years before submitting his resignation to the board. His move followed a 13-7 vote by the board to terminate him; the board rescinded his firing after Matthews offered his immediate resignation.
Earlier in the meeting, the board had received the results of an internal audit of the organization. Auditors reported six major, or material, violations:
Auditors found several other compliance issues, including a $27,000 senior medicine grant that was never awarded. The grant was awarded in 2008 but as of the audit no money has been paid from the funds.
Also, NARCOG received $92,960 in federal funds for the Farmers Market Nutritional Program, which provides coupon booklets for seniors to use at local farmers markets. The program requires the checks to be issued within the county and be based on first come, first serve basis.
That didn’t happen at NARCOG, auditors said. They found a number of coupon books were set aside for certain pre-selected people. This violation could require NARCOG to pay back this money, auditors said.
Auditors also cited NARCOG for employing two people who do not meet the minimum education requirements and multiple workers paid higher than their pay scale allows. The handling for outside agencies, including meal contracts, was also questioned.
In Matthew’s handwritten resignation letter to NARCOG Chairman and Hartselle Mayor Dwight Tankersley, he said he wished to “congratulate NARCOG for the agency’s significant accomplishments over the past 40 years and allowing me to serve in a leadership role as executive director for the past 27 years.”

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