3 former PAR employees file suit against nonprofit

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Three former employees of People Against Rape have filed lawsuits claiming the nonprofit did not pay them after they were laid off in September.

The layoffs came after board members of the group say a former bookkeeper mismanaged around $60,000 to $80,000 dollars of the non-profits money -- leading to their loss of about $300,000 dollars in state funding from the Department of Public Safety and DHEC.

One of the plaintiffs, Amanda Horne, argues in the filing that she fell behind on bills and has been unable to care for her grandmother. "The plaintiff has suffered sever (sic) emotional distress over having lost her job and not being able to pay her bills," the filing reads.

According to the filing, Horne has received a little more than $2,800, an amount short of the six weeks pay she was promised.

The second plaintiff, Ruby Godley, said in her filing that she was forced to leave her home and has been unable to pay her bills.

"With something like this happening so unexpectedly it is hard to process all the emotions and still worry about your own personal life," Godley said in September. "But most importantly you think about the people who are going to lose out on the services that we had to offer."

Horne, Godley, and a third plaintiff, Jametta King, all state in the lawsuits that their health insurance was also cut.{}

Michael Roach, the chairman of the PAR board of directors, issued a statement Friday afternoon saying the board had only learned of the lawsuit through the media.

"We are saddened to learn of this action because we have gone to great lengths to keep all of our former employees fully informed about our current financial status (i.e. PAR has no funds with which to pay them) and exactly what we are doing to obtain sufficient funds to pay them what we owe them," Roach said. "They should know that they, the PAR Board, and PAR are all victims of a former employee who engaged in a deceptive pattern of behavior that resulted in this financial catastrophe which resulted in our inability to pay them what we own them. As soon as funds are available, we will honor our debts to all employees."