$10K missing from St. Helena's Penn Center; investigation begins

pdonohue@beaufortgazette.comDecember 14, 2011 

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More than $10,000 has been reported missing from accounts at the historic Penn Center on St. Helena Island, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators are sifting through the organization's financial records after "numerous accounting discrepancies" were discovered by Penn Center staff and reported to authorities last week by the center's executive director, Walter Mack.

The money may have been taken within the last four months, according to Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Sgt. Robin McIntosh.

Mack said he was advised by the center's attorneys to not comment on the investigation.

Designated a National Historical Site in 1974, the Penn Center is on 50 acres that was home to the Penn School, one of the country's oldest schools originally formed for freed slaves.

The campus and the nonprofit organization that owns it sponsor lectures, exhibits and other events year-round to promote and preserve Gullah culture and the history of the Sea Islands, according to its website.

Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/ProtectServeBft.

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