Finance chairman queries director of catastrophe aid firm about expending tactics

The Senate Finance chairman grilled the director of West Virginia Voluntary Businesses Lively in Catastrophe about its money methods.

The group is concerned with catastrophe reduction in West Virginia, drawing down community dollars to help individuals initiatives. VOAD was between the businesses foremost reduction endeavours from West Virginia’s devastating 2016 flood, together with the Countrywide Guard.

VOAD’s former finance and operations supervisor, Benjamin Cisco, was charged past spring with many counts of fraud and income laundering. He has a sentencing listening to at 11 a.m. Thursday just before U.S. District Judge Irene Berger.

The Kanawha County Commission, very last thirty day period, voted to rescind $50,000 that had been likely to VOAD around discrepancies about how the revenue would be employed.

Eric Tarr

Throughout legislative interim conferences on Sunday, Senate Finance Chairman Eric Tarr, R-Putnam, posed a series of concerns to Jenny Gannaway, the executive director of West Virginia VOAD.

Tarr asked a variety of issues all through the meeting of the Joint Legislative Committee on Flooding, including queries about allegations that VOAD workers experienced taken items meant for flood reduction into their own houses and the employing of family.

“I’m sure you’re informed of videos and shots that have arrive out that have questioned some of the behaviors that you, personally, have had through VOAD,” Tarr commenced.

“Yes,” Gannaway responded.

“I’ve obtained a number of questions similar to that,” Tarr ongoing, “that I want you to tackle.

Gannaway normally denied any wrongdoing.

Jenny Gannaway

Gannaway did admit, underneath questioning by Tarr, that she experienced hired numerous family members to do the job for VOAD.

“Do you seek the services of for VOAD? Do you do choosing?” Tarr asked.

Gannaway responded that the firm has a human sources adviser that screens possible staff. “And, of course, I do work with her to use.”

“Did you employ your brother?” Tarr questioned.

“Yes,” Gannaway explained.

“Did you retain the services of your nephew?”

“No, not my nephew,” she stated.

“Did you use your good niece?”


“Did you employ your fantastic nephew-in-regulation?”


“Did you employ a relative or household member of your brother’s spouse?”


“And did those hires demand board acceptance?” Tarr requested.

“No, they did not,” Gannaway replied. “And I would like to say that it was through the covid time, and it was extremely hard for us to get workforce — and it was not just my household. We employed staff of numerous of our other workers. We hired their relatives associates also.

“So it was during the covid years and it was tricky to uncover people today that wanted to arrive out and operate, and searching back on that, which is likely something I would under no circumstances do again. But at that time when we experienced to get issues finished, we felt like that would be a way we could do it. And I did not immediately supervise anyone that was associated to me.”

Tarr also questioned about irrespective of whether Gannaway took as her very own some products that had been donated to VOAD to help with reduction attempts.

Gannaway stated she manufactured donations in trade for the resources.

“We experienced permission to consider donations for products that we could not give out to flood survivors. And I gave significant donations for nearly anything that I took that I could have specified to a person,” she explained.

“What’s a massive donation?” Tarr asked.

“I feel the complete is like $2,600 that I gave and then I donated an $800 generator to the firm. So anything that I have accomplished I produced a donation for that,” Gannaway said.

“Did any of these objects go to your home in Matewan?”

“No,” Gannaway claimed, “they did not go to my residence in Matewan.”

“None of the things that had been mentioned — not a patio furniture set, not a grill, not a fridge, not a rest room?”


“Did they go to any of your other houses?”

“I did acquire to my residence in Roanoke,” she reported. “I do not have all those items now. I donated all those to a person. But I did make a donation for individuals, but I finished up donating these to anyone.”

“Did you donate them just after or before it was introduced to community that the goods were being introduced to your dwelling?” Tarr questioned.

“Before,” Gannaway said. “They had been donated a yr and a 50 percent ago to somebody.”

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