DeKalb County

Protesters accused local nonprofit of misusing money meant for minorities, refugees

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Protesters accuse a local nonprofit of misusing money meant to help minorities and refugees.

The controversy has now cost two CEOs their jobs in less than a week.

The protesters gathered outside the Center for Pan-Asian Community Services, or CPACS.

The nonprofit had two CEOs.

One was fired.

The other says she retired. That’s the one these protesters say squandered money and mistreated staff.

They lined up along Shallowford Road, chanting and waving signs Monday.

This year, the nonprofit’s board of directors hired the Krevolin & Horst law firm to conduct an investigation into concerns over mismanagement of money.

It found that former co-CEO Chaiwon Kim, who founded the nonprofit, was leasing four buildings that she and her husband own to CPACS.

It also found that she used more than $400,000 of CPACS’ money for capital improvements to those buildings.

Last Thursday, the board fired her co-CEO, Dr. Jung Ha Kim.


She told Channel 2′s Bryan Mims that she was let go for speaking up against these alleged abuses.

“The staff is trying to protect not only CPACS as an organization, but as a community for minorities and refugees,” Jung Ha Kim said.

The investigation found that Chaiwon Kim used federal funding to buy cars. It also found she hired family members and gave them substantial salary increases.

“(It’s) not only unfair to an underappreciated staff, but the fact that people are working here and she took the credit. And she used and abused the funding that they had from taxpayer money that she used for her own personal profit. That speaks painfully and deeply to all of us,” Jung Ha Kim said.

Mims reached Chaiwon Kim on the phone Monday. She dismissed these as “accusations and allegations” and referred him to the board chairperson for any comment.

Now, employees are calling for all the board of directors to step down.

Mims called the chair of the board of directors, Aisah Gayle, several times Monday, but his messages were not returned.

Mims also spoke with another board member, Michelle Him Ferreyra, who told him that Jung Ha Kim was fired because she had made decisions without the board’s approval.

The organization has hired an interim CEO.


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