The Board of Trustees for the Grove City Food Pantry and Emergency Services reports that charges were filed with the Grove City Police Department on April 30 against former volunteer financial secretary Gayle Tatman for misuse of the organization’s funds for personal use.
Based on the investigation that has been conducted up to this point, it appears more that $55,000 was taken from the organization since approximately the end of 2006, by using an old bank account that was supposed to have been closed years ago, plus the organization’s current bank account. The charges have been filed on the evidence documented as of this date, as well as Tatman’s alleged confession to three trustees and the minister of her own church. The investigation is continuing.
When the matter was uncovered a few weeks ago, because of two missing checks that had not shown up on the organization’s monthly financial statements, the pantry’s trustees held an emergency meeting to decide the next step.
Ron Miller, board secretary, said "Every effort will be made to recover as much of the misused funds as possible, because it’s our obligation to do so for the community we serve." The board of trustees deeply regrets having to make this announcement, as it’s a very unfortunate and sad situation for Gayle Tatman and her family and our prayers go out to them."
The board wants to emphasize to the community that the food pantry and the emergency services is financially sound and is serving the community at record levels.
In fact, the food being provided to those in need is up more than 20 percent over what was provided in 2008 and up more than 40 percent over what was provided in 2007. The organization also has financial reserves to cover both special needs of the food pantry as well as the emergency financial assistance provided to individuals that go through a qualifying process.
The board feels the Grove City Food Pantry and Emergency Services is one of the most successful and financially sound food pantries in central Ohio.
"We are extremely grateful for this tremendous support from the community and the numerous volunteers that serve the organization in different ways," said Miller.