Skip to comments.MEMPHIS, TN: Day care figure surrenders; probe weighs other charges (Ford JUNIOR's uncles involved)
Posted on 11/16/2002 5:22:17 AM PST by GailA
Day care figure surrenders; probe weighs other charges
By Marc Perrusquia email@example.com November 16, 2002
Indicted day-care operator Phyllis Herring turned herself in Friday to face a criminal charge that she stole funds intended for poor children.
Herring, 57, surrendered about 1 p.m. at Shelby County Jail East, a day after she was indicted by a state grand jury.
Herring is charged with a single felony count involving theft over $60,000, funds the state of Tennessee sent to South Memphis Child Development Center Inc., a nonprofit day-care agency that catered to needy children.
Herring, South Memphis's former executive director, allegedly tapped into the day care's funds to finance personal bills and frivolities, including a $5,951 birthday party in her honor.
She remained in custody late Friday in lieu of $20,000 bail.
After 3d years of state and federal investigations, prosecutors let it be known that they now plan to deal aggressively with abuses in Memphis's government-funded but privately controlled day care industry.
And, while stopping short of official confirmation, prosecutors would not rule out charges in the long-running investigation of Cherokee Children and Family Services, Shelby County's former child-care broker.
"Ms. Herring knew what the purpose was before she started spending that money," prosecutor David Shapiro said in a press conference called by his boss, Dist. Atty. Gen. Bill Gibbons.
Since 1998, the state has pumped nearly $2.4 million into South Memphis Child Development's three Memphis centers to care for poor children. The state provided hundreds of thousands more for meals and transportation.
"Phyllis Herring got public money by the use of a nonprofit corporation which was designed to take care of underprivileged children," Shapiro said. "In this case, the corporate structure was used as a method of getting public funds to fund essentially her lifestyle."
Asked if more charges would follow, Gibbons declined comment.
However, he acknowledged that his office is cooperating with U.S. Atty. Terry Harris, who is overseeing an ongoing federal probe of Cherokee, a nonprofit corporation that served as the state's exclusive agent to award day-care vouchers to poor families in Shelby County.
Cherokee lost its lucrative state contract in August 2000, and a judge ordered the firm dissolved last year for funneling nonprofit assets to company insiders.
Herring is the sister of WillieAnn Madison, Cherokee's former executive director.
"We've kind of divided this up with the U.S. attorney's Office," Gibbons said.
Gibbons is reviewing allegations at individual day care centers while Harris, a former Gibbons deputy, is probing actions at Cherokee, including those by Madison and her husband, former Cherokee book keeper John E. Madison.
"It's my understanding that there's on ongoing federal investigation involving Cherokee and the Madisons," Gibbons said. "We'll just have to see where that goes. And the U.S. attorney will have a statement to make at some appropriate time."
Of the Cherokee investigation, Harris spokesman Leigh Anne Jordon said, "The investigation is continuing. That's all we have."
Allan Wade, a lawyer who has represented Herring and Cherokee, did not return a call to his office.
Tennessee Atty. Gen. Paul Summers, meantime, had more allegations for Herring and the Madisons. He filed a motion for summary judgment this week to dissolve Little People's Child Development Center Inc., another nonprofit day care corporation.
The suit names John and WillieAnn Madison, Herring and others as defendants.
"Nonprofit assets were converted to their personal use through systematic misconduct that persisted for a prolonged period of time," wrote Asst. Atty. Gen. George Bell and Albert Partee, senior counsel for the attorney general.
- Marc Perrusquia: 529-2545
And they get away with it because the minute someone uncovers the embezzlement, they cry "RACISM!"
Then all the bed-wetting liberal whites get nervous and say, "Nevermind."
The demonRATS are grifters to their rotten core, every one of them.