CEO accused of stealing from agency

Local News
CEO accused of mismanagement

DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Some bold accusations from a man who used to work for a charity. He says the CEO has been stealing money for more than a year. 

Charles Robinson worked for the East Central Illinois Community Action Agency. He says he was fired because the CEO is trying to cover up the fact she’s stealing money.     

That CEO – Dr. Angele Thibodeaux-Burns – is now the subject of an investigation by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.

We’re told that Burns was likely stealing this money for around a year. Although we don’t have that exact amount, it’s at least thousands.

“Wherever she could find a pile of money to keep herself out of hot water this week… I’ll do it this week and I’ll take it from another area the following week,” said Robinson. 

Robinson started working for East Central Community Action Agency in October 2017. He says it didn’t take long for him to realize that there were issues.

“ERBA at this time had done several jobs, totaling at the beginning, around $192,000, and I submitted the invoices to our fiscal office again, and I was told that they were broke.”

He says he found out the agency couldn’t pay their contractors, so he started digging deeper. 

“I found this misappropriation of funds and I was contacted by the state weatherization manager asking how is it possible that they’ve pulled down this money and they’re unable to pay for the contractor? I was told under threat of termination: Do not respond to that request from the state.” 

Robinson believes his attempts to bring attention to Dr.  Angele Thibodeaux-Burns’ theft is why she fired him. 

“She just finds any way that she can to get rid of anyone that’s on to what she was doing.”

Burns says these accusations are not true, saying, “This agency does not engage in and or condone fraudulent activity.”

Burns mismanagement was brought to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, who says Burns has been mismanaging the agency for more than a year and they are asking Burns to step down. However, they are not involved in investigating any theft, only in mismanagement. 

They say, “The mismanagement of the East Central Illinois Community Action Agency is unacceptable. The purpose of these organizations is to deliver services to communities in need.”

Robinson says he wants to put the issue to rest so that the agency can serve its real purpose. 

The IDOC is asking burns to step down. No word on if she plans to do so or if there is a possibility of criminal charges. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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