[nfbmi-talk] man steals from blind org sentenced

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Wed Dec 1 17:30:35 UTC 2010

Man admits to stealing from blind, organization 

By Brooke Kelley -

bio |



SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The former interim executive director of the Savannah Association for the Blind admits he stole thousands of dollars from the group

and will spend five years behind bars.


Investigators say interim Louis Heyward took the money in 2007. Since the incident, the board hired a new director and for the first time, he spoke with

WTOC about how the crime affected the organization.


For more than 30 years, they've been helping those who are visually impaired.


While they are going strong now, the Savannah Association for the Blind had to overcome some tough financial struggles after former Heyward pleaded guilty

to taking more than $27,000 from the non-profit organization.


Jim King took over as the new executive director after Heyward was charged leaving him with what he calls, "a mess to clean up."


"It was quite a challenge, but we have a very strong board, very committed board members and with their help we've been able to make it through this," said



King, visually impaired himself, wanted to make sure nothing like this ever happened again so he, along with board members, implemented stronger fiscal



"We've employed a strong auditing firm to give us a high quality audit on a regular basis and our books handled by CPA's those changes have been in place

for awhile since we've known about this," said King.


King wants to let the community know they are recovering and in fact stronger than ever with more programs and community outreach.


"We're here we are alive and well. This has been a rock in the road that we've had to struggle to overcome and we've done it and we are moving forward,"said



Moving forward and continuing to provide a high quality of service to our community.


Heyward was sentenced to five years in prison and ten years probation. He'll also have to pay the money back. If Heyward had gone to trial, he would have

faced at least four felony charges.


Copyright 2010 WTOC. All rights reserved.


Baton Rouge, LA


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