Partners, dental coalition moving forward

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Two local non-profit agencies that were victims of embezzlement are moving forward, directors say.

In April, the Moffat County United Way board of directors voted to withhold funds from the Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition and Moffat County Partners.

United Way's action was based on an embezzlement investigation surrounding the actions of Robin McKenzie, executive director of the dental coalition, who was arrested and has since pleaded guilty to stealing more than $30,000 from the local non-profit organizations.

The United Way board chose to withhold the funds until both organizations were audited.

John Ponikvar, chairman of the Moffat County United Way board, indicated in a letter to Moffat County Partners Board members that an audit was being asked of Moffat County Partners because McKenzie was also an employee of the organization and past chairperson of the board.

"Both of the organizations lost money," Ponikvar said Friday.

"We thought it would be best to have both audits done. The United Way wanted to make sure United Way dollars were being taken care of. We don't want to micro manage but we felt we should have

some oversight."

The audit is complete and everything looks good, Ponikvar said.

"There doesn't seem to be any problems," he said. "Now we move on. The board asked them to do an audit and they're satisfied."

Tara Jenrich, the new executive director of Moffat County Partners, said the books kept by former director, Debbi Landoll, were found to be well kept by the auditor.

"The auditor indicated that we have the cleanest books she's seen in a long time," Jenrich said.

She also said the agency is moving on.

"It was sad to lose Debbi," she said. "We've had some struggles recently but we're moving forward."

About $7,000 of Partner's $168,000 budget comes from the United Way, Jenrich said.

Ponikvar said an audit was done on the dental coalition when the police seized documents from the organization last spring.

Debi Garoutte was hired to replace McKenzie as executive director of the organization.

Corrie Scott, executive director of the Moffat County United Way, said funding is back in place for both organizations.

"Everything went well with audit," she said.

"We're pleased to release their funds so they can continue providing great services to the community. They do great work over there."

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