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State and federal agencies probing Options

By Staff
Have questions about agency’s compliance with grant guidelines
By DAN PARSONS
Staff Writer
State and federal funding agencies are conducting an inquiry into the workings of Options to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, a Beaufort County women’s shelter and counseling agency.
Bryant said that he and other commission employees have visited Options and met with Lee Anne Hanson, Options’ executive director, and Options’ board of directors.
Hanson defended Options, saying the agency’s “performance record is excellent.”
Hanson told the Daily News she preferred to use e-mail to send her responses to questions sent to her regarding the inquiry. Her responses to the questions had not been received by Monday night.
On Monday, Bryant said that the commission has received the information it requested from Options, but he would not comment on the nature of the information nor the inquiry.
Bryant would not elaborate on the severity of Options’ possible noncompliance. Bryant said the commission and other funding and technical-assistance agencies involved with Options are “definitely concerned.”
The N.C. Council for Women/Domestic Violence Commission funds Options with state dollars. Calls to the council Monday seeking comment regarding the inquiry were not immediately returned. A statement of position from the N.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a statewide technical-assistance provider for Options and similar agencies, is expected today.