Audit: Ex-director of DCYF received ‘inappropriate’ payments

By News Staff, The Associated Press

The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – An audit has found the former director of the state’s child welfare agency received inappropriate payments from a vendor that had a contract with the agency.

Officials at the Department of Children, Youth and Families requested the audit to review financial irregularities with the Center for South East Asians, or CSEA, a Providence-based nonprofit.

The audit, released Tuesday, says former DCYF director Janice DeFrances may have violated state ethics laws by receiving around $11,000 from CSEA by acting as a "consultant” during her tenure. The audit says she spent that money on things like meals and entertainment, which were not covered by the contract.

DeFrances says the audit is inaccurate and she didn’t receive any payments from CSEA.

The audit also says CSEA failed to spend and return $433,962 of the $973,245 it received from DCYF in fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

CSEA says the audit contains "assumptions” that harm the center’s reputation.

This is the second audit as a result of DCYF’s financial overhaul from its previous administration. DCYF referred financial issues to State Police and an investigation is ongoing.

The Bureau of Audits has also launched an audit schedule of all vendor contracts over $1 million.

Click here to read the audit in its entirety.

(c) AP, WLNE-TV 2015