Saint Francis in debt as he sought a contract in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP and KMTV) – New Kansas audit says a child protection service provider who served families in the Omaha area was plagued by growing debt, mismanagement of money and other problems even before winning a contract with the state of Nebraska.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that the audit from Kansas-based Saint Francis Ministries shows a nonprofit in financial turmoil, with managers spending money on themselves instead of programs and a CEO at the time who enjoyed travel sumptuous paid by the organization.

The audit also indicates that Saint Francis has since taken steps to correct these issues. A spokesperson for Saint Francis said the organization is now financially stable.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, complaints about the financial situation of Saint Francis Ministries came months after signing a contract with Nebraska.

Saint Francis’ contract with Nebraska is due to end early next year. The two sides agreed to end the contract earlier this month.

In three years, the image of Saint Francis’s finances has radically changed. According to the World-Herald, in 2016, the organization had $ 7.4 million with access to $ 21,000 on a line of credit. At the end of 2019, Saint Francis had $ 10,816 and had access to just over $ 9 million in credit.

Former CEO Robert Smith has racked up questionable spending, according to the World-Herald, including trips to Britain and Ireland, as the audit found no work targets for the trips.

There was a reunion in Chicago on a trip there, but the expenses for the trip also included tickets to the Cubs, limo service, and a social club. The facts were discovered following an anonymous whistleblower in November 2019.

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John A. Bogar