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UPDATE:

Area native and ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ author J.D. Vance speaks on Yale dean’s ‘white trash’ comment

Foster care agency funds may have been used for gambling, vacations

The director of Isaiah’s Place has resigned and her brother, the financial officer, has been terminated.


Investigators who seized computers and boxes of documents during a Nov. 23 search of the nonprofit Isaiah’s Place were looking into allegations of conversion of at least $100,000 in agency funds for personal uses, according to court documents.

Isaiah’s Place at 1100 Wayne St. is a foster care agency based in Troy.

No charges have been filed.

Steven Justice, a Troy lawyer representing Isaiah’s Place, said the financial issues at the organization came to light during the past two weeks.

The agency director, Kelley Gunter, resigned since the search warrant was served and the financial officer, Matthew Gunter, was terminated, Justice said. The Gunters are sister and brother.

Employee Irene Early has been named interim director as Justice and board members work with the state on ensuring the agency continues operations, the attorney said.

“The others who work there are very hard working people who do a fantastic job of running the agency,” Justice said.

“This is a good agency. It has done good work.”

An affidavit filed in Miami County Municipal Court outlines allegations of an agency employee who told police in November that agency funds had been used for gambling, casino trips, home repairs, vacations, clothing and tanning sessions, among other expenses. The alleged misuse was revealed to police by an employee before an audit because the employee said the audit would disclose the problems, according to the search warrant.

Isaiah’s Place was founded in 2003 and is a Christian-based agency that works with foster agencies in 10 counties, according to its website.

In the search warrant inventory, police reported seizing computers along with payroll and bank records, receipts, tax paperwork, board meeting information and other paperwork, according to the inventory from the search filed with the court.

Troy Police Capt. Jeff Kunkleman said investigators contacted the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for advice due to the amount of documents seized.


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