Fiscal mismanagement inspires revision of Crime Stoppers reporting practices

In the wake of a three-month investigation of the Heartland Crime Stoppers by the Lakeland Ledger, the Florida Attorney General's Office is redrafting its reporting practices, according to the newspaper.

The investigation revealed numerous financial discrepancies, including duplicate payments and billing irregularities. Agency records revealed that its executive director had given approximately $260,000 worth of printing jobs to his former brother-in-law without seeking bids from other vendors.

As a result of the findings, executive director Wayne Cross resigned from his position, along with five board members.

Among the revisions are stipulations that each agency's board of directors must review its executive director on a yearly basis, and annual financial reviews should be sent to the executive director, chairman, and finance director. Additionally, the state will now decide who will be awarded any contract worth more than $1,000, the news source reports.

"If something is going wrong, we want to find it and fix it instead of finding out things that have been happening for years," Emery Gainey, director of law enforcement relations, victims services and criminal justice programs for the Attorney General's Office, told the news source.

In addition to the Heartland chapter, the Florida Association of Crime Stoppers is comprised of 31 other crime reporting programs, according to the organization's website. 

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