Local News

Afterschool Program Under Investigation For Misuse Of Funds

Posted February 27, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— Clinton's On Track youth program helps kids achieve a brighter future, but some Sampson County leaders question where the help is going. TheState Bureau of Investigationis looking into allegations of misuse of funds.

On Track is an afterschool program for at-risk kids between the ages of 7 and 17. They learn life skills such as how to make friends and how to be better students. But lately, it is not the kids who are being put to the test, but the program itself.

Jay Tilley of Fayetteville's branch of the State Bureau of Investigation says the Sampson County's Sheriff Office requested an investigation into On Track's spending. The program is mostly supported by grants from the Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

"The county manager in Sampson County has reported to the Sampson County Sheriff's Department of some misappropriation of funds," he says.

Betty Lou Griffin, who has been the program's executive director for only six months, will not say who she replaced or why.

"I would hate for a little bit of negativism to go out and destroy what good has been put together for a long time," she says.

The On Track program is a nonprofit organization. Up to 65 children from the Sampson County area participate in the program every day. The SBI, Sampson County investigators and auditors will discuss the details of the allegations Thursday.