Posted on June 20, 2012 at 9:29 AM
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) -- The head of a nonprofit group that fights spousal abuse on the Grand Strand has been charged with embezzling federal funds.
But the Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports the chairwoman of the Citizens Against Spousal Abuse board says there was no criminal intent and no money was stolen.
Authorities say the group's executive director, 55-year-old JoAnne Patterson of Myrtle Beach, was charged Tuesday with embezzlement. It was unclear if she has a lawyer.
The case centers on a $32,000 federal grant to buy vans.
Board chairwoman Sissy Rutherford says while the money should have been used for vans, it was used to keep open the doors of a Georgetown safe house for battered women. Rutherford says all the money went to keep the shelter open and pay staff.