Brown Arrested

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 2, 2010

Department of Aging and Adult Services Director Dan George (in suit) was among the officials who swooped in on North Delta Planning and Development District Thursday morning following the arrest of NDPDD Director Glenn Brown a few minutes prior to this photograph being taken. The Panolian photo by Rupert Howell

Non-profit’s director arrested for fraud

By Billy Davis and Rupert Howell

State and local authorities swooped in and arrested the longtime executive director of North Delta Planning and Development District, Glenn K. Brown, Thursday morning at his office in Batesville.

Brown, 49, was booked at the Panola County jail at 8:25 and charged with fraud, according to the jail log.

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Despite Brown’s arrest, employees of North Delta Planning are still at work and performing their jobs, said Board of Supervisors president Gary Thompson.

“The doors are still open,” he said.

Thompson serves on North Delta’s executive committee along with fellow supervisors James Birge and Vernice Avant.

Mississippi Department of Human Services officials and investigators along with Panola County Sheriff’s Deputies entered the building shortly after 8 a.m. A few minutes later one deputy left with Brown before another group including Dan George, Director of Aging and Adult Services with DHS, entered the building and met  with North Delta workers in the building’s conference room.

DHS agents aided with a search warrant loaded files into boxes and moved them toward a DHS motor home parked outside North Delta’s building located on Power Drive near Highway 6 East in Batesville.

A spokesman for Mississippi DHS said state investigators with Program Integrity, an agency within MDHS, conducted Brown’s arrest Thursday.

An official familiar with the arrest said investigators are following up on the March arrest of Yulanda Starling, an employee at the non-profit agency.

Starling, 39, was charged with committing fraud with state and federal funds, though she returned to work after the arrest.

When Starling was arrested in March, Thompson said at the time that Brown had failed to inform the executive committee, when it met six days later, that the employee was facing charges. 

At North Delta Planning, Starling is employed as a senior case manager for the Area Agency on Aging, a local-level organization that provides help to the elderly. Authorities said at the time that Starling was accused of falsifying documents for Meals of Wheels, the home-delivery meal program.

Thompson confirmed that the current investigation involves Meals on Wheels, not other areas of North Delta Planning.

The program serves 3,100 recipients in Panola County alone, handing out two meals a week, he said.

North Delta Planning is one of 10 Planning and Development Districts in Mississippi. North Delta covers seven counties, where public officials are most familiar with the agency’s ongoing effort to help counties and municipalities obtain federal and state grants.

Area Agency on Aging is part of a long-time federal program that is administered by the federal Department of Human Services. The federal funds come to Mississippi DHS, where they trickle to sub-recipients such as the North Delta Planning office.

The spokesman also announced that MDHS was pulling Area Agency on Aging from North Delta Planning and splitting the program between two other planning and development districts, South Delta in Greenville and Three Rivers in Pontotoc.

Panola Countians served by North Delta Planning will now be served by Three Rivers, according to a press release from MDHS.

Thompson said the program should continue to run smoothly in Panola County, but anyone who misses a meal can contact Three Rivers at 662-489-2415.