The executive director of the Bell-Whitley Community Action Agency was fired from her position.
Peggy Capps was dismmised from her position on Nov. 27.
The move comes after an internal audit, months of investigation and hours of sworn testimony, according to Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock.
The board voted 16 to 4 in favor of firing Capps.
“This has been a very difficult time for the board,” said Brock, who also serves as chairman for the Bell-Whitley Board. “Mrs. Capps did a lot of good things for the agency over the years, but two rights do not offset a wrong.”
Brock stated the main reasons behind the removal of Capps were because of serious allegations of misuse of agency property, giving assistance to persons who did not qualify under agency program guidelines and overall bad treatment of staff.
“It’s important for the public to have faith in all agencies that administer tax dollars in any way,” said Brock. “The board felt, after all the evidence was heard, that in order to protect the agency’s reputation and future viability, Capps had to be dismissed.”
Brock said the board will also be requesting the state auditors office conduct an investigative audit to see if any laws have been broken.
He said the investigative audit will be done to protect the integrity of the Bell-Whitley board, the agency and its staff.
“To say I was disappointed in Mrs. Capps and the situations that have come to light would be a gross understatement,” said Brock. “I commend the board of directors for doing the right thing for the community in protecting and putting the agency first and not allowing outside pressure and personal feelings to get in the way of doing the right thing.”
Brock stated he is expects the state auditor to have recommendations for the board. He also said he expects the board will welcome the advice, making certain they will not find themselves in a similar position in the future.
Capps was placed on administrative leave about four months ago. She was the director over all of the programs administered through Bell-Whitley, which includes weatherization, Head Start and housing programs.
Capps worked for the agency for 20 years. She was the executive director since 1995.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at email@example.com or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 208.