New questions are being raised about the timing of the Center Township trustee's decision to cut off school uniform assistance for needy families.Kenney said records indicated Doris Outlet Apparel received more than $700,000 worth of clothing vouchers in one recent year. The business is supposedly owned by Gloria and Jerry Davis, but Kenney couldn't track them down for comment at their very upscale home. Douglas also couldn't be tracked down for comment.
Last year, the township spent $600,000 to help 1,312 children afford school clothes, but Center Township Trustee William Douglas told 6News' Kara Kenney on Thursday that budget cuts forced him to halt the program ahead of the school year.
Records show the township previously dictated families only spend uniform vouchers at Doris Outlet Apparel at 866 Davidson Street, located around the corner from the trustee's office.
But the store is now closed because the township, which owns the building, is negotiating a lease with a developer, leaving some to wonder whether the closing played a role in the trustee's decision to halt assistance.
By comparison, other townships give parents a variety of store choices.
6News also found most townships give $150 vouchers, while Center Township's vouchers to Doris Outlet Apparel were $350 per child, which Douglas said was intended to pay for three outfits, two pairs of shoes, a coat, belt, gloves, socks, underwear and a hat.
"Either the taxpayers are being cheated, or the poor people were being cheated by not getting more clothes for their children," Louis Mahern, a Center Township resident and government reform activist.
Again, this is something that would have been stopped years ago if we had legitimate prosecutors who actually prosecuted public corruption cases. For some reason beyond my comprehension, both federal and county prosecutors have decided they won't touch the Center Township Trustee's office, which has been fleecing taxpayers for decades. Any one with any common sense knows it makes no sense to force the poor to use those vouchers to purchase their clothing at only one store. Any one with any common sense knows that you can purchase those clothing items for school uniforms at a much cheaper price at any number of clothing discount stores. It's obvious there has been a corrupt relationship between the trustee's office and the business in question but nobody will investigate them. Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi has been given evidence on multiple occasions in the past of corruption going on within the trustee's office but refused to investigate and prosecute. Of course we know now just how corrupt he is too.