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Nonprofit organizations tied to state senator

3 years 6 months 1 week ago August 14, 2013 Aug 14, 2013 Wednesday, August 14 2013 August 14, 2013 5:48 PM in The Investigative Unit
Source: WBRZ
By: Michael Shingleton

BATON ROUGE - A News 2 investigation shows links between Louisiana State Senator Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb, her husband and two nonprofit organizations targeted by State Treasurer John Kennedy's Office.

Kennedy sent a list of Non-Governmental Organizations, or NGO's, that have failed to provide documentation to the state outlining how they spent tax dollars.

That money was granted to the 36 NGO's during the 2006 and 2007 legislative session.  Each one agreed to explain quarterly how they spent tax money, but many failed to do so. Spending from two groups, Serenity 67 and The Colomb Foundation, account for nearly half a million dollars according to the state treasurer.

Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb sat on the House Appropriations Committee when Serenity 67 was granted $150,000 and The Colomb Foundation, $300,000. On Dorsey-Colomb's state legislature website, Patsy Parker is listed as her legislative assistant. Parker is also the listed director of Serenity 67, according to the documents provided to News 2 by the state treasurer. The Colomb Foundation's president is Sterling Colomb, the senator's husband.

Since 2008, when these non-profits were to begin reporting their expenses, the Department of Treasury has tried talking to Parker about the delinquent reports. She was sent multiple letters outlining what's owed back to the state but since hasn't responded.

The Colomb Foundation not only received $300,000 in state tax dollars in 2008, but two years later received another $276,694 from the city of Baton Rouge. That money was funneled to the Lafayette-based nonprofit to make improvements to the Colomb Community center "used as a regional site."

Documents show Mayor Kip Holden signed off on it, and Patsy Parker, Dorsey-Colomb's legislative assistant, signed as a witness.

Parker declined an on-camera interview and said the senator was "out of town." The senator's husband did not return our calls by the time the story aired. Both organizations claim they have the documentation the prove they spent tax dollars accordingly.

The state treasurer has not received anything from either non-profit.

All delinquent NGO's have until the end of the month to provide the information requested by the treasurer. Once that deadline expires, the organizations will be turned over to the newly created Office of Debt Recovery.

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