BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Gayle Cunningham, the former executive director of the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity, was charged on Friday with stealing $500,000 from the non-profit
organization, Head Start, that’s run through the JCCEO.
The FBI discovered that Cunningham was using stolen money from JCCEO to make payments on private homes during their mortgage fraud investigation.
In light of this news, the JCCEO released the following statement:
From Board Chair Rev. T. L. Lewis:
Since learning of the investigation on this matter in March of this year, the JCCEO Board of Directors has
worked closely with federal investigators to provide a comprehensive look at any and all inappropriate
spending. While the funding in question represents less than 1.5 percent of the organization’s overall budget,
the JCCEO Board of Directors is deeply committed to rooting out any problems that have existed in JCCEO’s
finances and ensuring that every dollar this organization administrates is used in the most efficient way to
provide services that strengthen Jefferson County, Alabama and the children and families we serve.
JCCEO remains in sound operational and financial condition. Every year, an annual audit of the Agency’s
financial statements is conducted by a reputable accounting firm with experience in accounting for federal
funding. The audits have provided clean reports, and any occasional minor exceptions have been immediately
addressed. Additionally, regular reviews by many of our granting authorities have consistently received
In March, we accepted Ms. Gayle Cunningham’s resignation, and in June, we announced that Dr. Marquita
Davis had been hired as the new Executive Director of JCCEO. We are confident in Dr. Davis’ ability to lead
this organization, and are looking forward to the continued growth of the Agency.
CBS42 has a reporter on the scene and will bring you the latest as soon as it becomes available.