Friday, June 21, 2013

Former head of Career Alliance, Flint school board member plead guilty to embezzlement in federal court

The former head of Career Alliance and a former Flint school board member pleaded guilty Friday, June 21, to embezzling federal funds from the career services agency.

Pamela Loving, 69, and Helen Williams, 59, each pleaded guilty to one count of "misapplication" -- which federal documents also call embezzlement -- of Workforce Investment Act funding. They appeared in front of Flint U.S. District Magistrate Judge Michael J. Hluchaniuk.

The pleas were taken under advisement until approved by Flint U.S. District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith. There is no date scheduled when Goldsmith will approve the pleas.
Loving, the former president and chief executive officer of Career Alliance, admitted in court to taking $78,000 from the organization for her personal benefit and to pay for training sessions for people who did not work for Career Alliance.

Flint Journal records show Loving was placed on unpaid administrative leave from her position at Career Alliance in 2007 and never returned. She won a $154,000 judgment
in 2008 against Career Alliance because she claimed her contract had been effectively terminated.

Williams served as executive director of Flint Family Road, an organization started with the goal of reducing infant deaths by better preparing parents to be mothers and fathers, according to Flint Journal files.
Williams admitted in court to falsifying invoices to get money from Career Alliance contractors for services she never provided. Williams admitted in court to embezzling more than $88,000.

Williams served on the Flint school board for seven years, before resigning in 2001.

In a 2008 letter questioning spending at Career Alliance, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth said it had been informed Helen Williams was a cousin of Loving and that Family Road was given rent-free space in Career Alliance's Ruether Center.

Loving and Williams declined to comment on the court proceedings. Their attorneys, Richard Morgan and Kenneth Scott, also declined comment.

The two admitted that the embezzlement began July 2006 and lasted until May 2007.

The plea agreements call for both women to serve up to 10-16 months in a federal prison if Judge Goldsmith accepts their pleas. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 15.

County, state and federal investigators reported chronic mismanagement and improper spending at Career Alliance after a series of Flint Journal stories in 2007 detailed problems at the organization.

Career Alliance serves as a job-training agency for Genesee and Shiawassee counties as well as the city of Flint and is responsible for millions of dollars for employment programs.

Current Career Alliance officials could not be reached for comment.

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