NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now Inc. CEO Chiquita Stevenson has been placed on an unpaid leave of absence after the most recent allegations against the agency, officials announced.
"We deeply regret the current situation of NEON,” its executive board Chairman Michael Berkoff said at a press conference Wednesday. “We are going to do what's best for the children, families and staff.”
Employees protested outside the anti-poverty organization’s South Main Street headquarters Tuesday, saying that paychecks from NEON issued the week before had bounced. Berkoff said Wednesday that the agency’s management had not provided the board with accurate financial information and “wrong decisions were made for issuing paychecks.”
The board would hold a special meeting Thursday night to discuss future management and the current financial state of the agency, Berkoff announced.
The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at the agency's Stamford offices at 34 Woodland Ave.
State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk and Darien) called the situation “sad and frustrating,” and said state and local leaders would continue to work “working behind the scenes...to right this ship.”
"Today's step is a good one, but much more needs to be done,” Duff said at the press conference. “We will continue to monitor the board's progress and expect that they will quickly take decisive action. As community leaders, we offer our assistance and guidance so that our city's anti-poverty agency is available to those who need it."
Last month, the federal government suspended NEON's management of the Head Start preschool program after mismanagement complaints. Read about that decision here at The Daily Voice.
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