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Youth and Family Development leader suspended for misusing nonprofit funds

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Lurone "Coach" Jennings. Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press Lurone "Coach" Jennings. Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press

Youth and Family Development (YFD) Administrator Lurone Jennings has been suspended for a week after he was accused of misusing funds from the nonprofit agency.

Funds totaling $27,500 were distributed by Jennings in the form of donations and grants, including $18,500 that was given to Journey Educational Services (JES) where Jennings’ daughter is the Executive Director. 

JES is a non-profit established in April of 2015 and registered with the state of Tennessee.

In the Chattanooga Office of Internal Audit report,  Jennings stated “I’m guilty and whatever the consequences, the challenges I have to face...I have to pay the piper too, as I have to be accountable, as I expect others to be.” 

Maura Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Chattanooga tells Channel 3:

"The City of Chattanooga works diligently to ensure every city employee provides superior customer service, efficiently and effectively uses taxpayer dollars, and adheres to the highest standards of trust given to us by the people of our city. After reviewing Internal Audit’s findings, we immediately contacted HR who provided a recommendation on the appropriate course of action. We will move forward with their recommendation, which includes a one-week suspension as well as a formal letter of discipline, mandatory ethics training and a Performance Improvement Plan for our YFD administrator. In addition, final approval for all Department of Youth & Family Development's contractual and financial obligations will be made by the City’s Finance Department.

In addition, the suspension is for one week, effective Monday."

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