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Posted at 8:53 PM ET, 06/24/2009

In Defense of Centro Familia

By Vince Rinehart

By Jo Ann H. Moran Cruz
Chevy Chase

As a board member of the Centro Familia nonprofit for 10 years and the board’s chair from 2006 to 2008, I wish to vouch for the integrity of the leadership of the organization [“Officials Apparently Overpaid Nonprofit,” Metro, June 19].

Centro Familia is the only nonprofit in Montgomery County that trains and licenses home day-care providers and provides home day-care services to children. The agency provides much-needed assistance to less-advantaged Hispanic and other minorities.

As The Post has reported, the county’s inspector general is examining county payments to Centro Familia because of concerns that the agency has had difficulties documenting some of its spending. Although I stepped down from the organization’s board in July 2008, I have kept in touch with its director and board leadership. The board’s executive committee has investigated every concern raised by the inspector general’s office and believes that Centro Familia management has adequately addressed each one.

Recently, the inspector general’s office has asked Centro Familia staff members to report every relative they have. This smacks of harassment, particularly given the extent to which Centro Familia has cooperated with the investigation and reasonably addressed every concern raised.

In my 10 years on Centro Familia’s board of directors, I never witnessed misuse of funds. Over the years, the board has strengthened its financial oversight, and its accountants have repeatedly given the agency a clean bill of financial health. Centro Familia can claim to have oversight comparable to, or better than, any nonprofit in Montgomery County.

By Vince Rinehart  | June 24, 2009; 8:53 PM ET
Categories:  Montgomery County, day care  
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