Corinth humane society sues former director

CORINTH – The Corinth/Alcorn County Humane Society is seeking a $160,000 judgment from its longtime director in a lawsuit filed last year, while struggling to make it through the end of the fiscal year which ends Sept. 30.
Humane society attorney Phil Hinton went into executive session with the city of Corinth’s board of aldermen last week for in-depth discussions after officers and board members asked the city to help provide $50,000 to sustain it through the next two months.
The shelter officials said they expect to ask Alcorn County to split that requested amount with the city, since the shelter receives most of its budget from the city and county.
The lawsuit, filed in Alcorn County Chancery Court in August 2008, names Michael Boston as the defendant. Boston served as executive director of the organization from 1999 until his resignation last summer.
The suit claims that while Boston operated the shelter at least $160,000 paid out of shelter funds were not supported by appropriate documentation and appear to have been paid for expenses that were not actual debts of the animal shelter.
In an answer to the suit filed with the court in September 2008, Boston denied the lawsuit’s allegations:
• That he resigned because he could not account for all revenues and provide documentation for expenditures;
• That while executive director he helped form and operate a separate animal transport business; and
• That a limited audit showed the $160,000 was not properly accounted for.
The city board did not take action on the humane society’s funding request after the executive session, but took the matter under advisement to be discussed again at the Aug. 4 board meeting, said Mayor Jerry Latch.

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

Shelter under direction of new management
CORINTH – Cathy Strait began her duties as the manager of the Corinth/Alcorn County Humane Society shelter this week, bringing about 20 years of experience working with shelters in several states, according to reports.
Strait is the third manager for the shelter since last summer, when longtime director Michael Boston resigned his position.
Recent manager Keith Mays recommended Strait – who has been a shelter volunteer for some time – for the position and asked if she would be interested, though he will continue to work with the organization as well.
Mays noted that Strait’s more extensive experience in shelter operations made her the ideal person to lead a reorganization and revitalization of the shelter’s work.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal