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Ex-official of Presbyterian Night Shelter is indicted

FORT WORTH -- Dwayne Kinloch was a reclamation project who came highly recommended after working for more than 10 years at other nonprofit organizations, according to Presbyterian Night Shelter officials.

But authorities say Kinloch, the former director of operations at the shelter, was also the leader of a group of employees who defrauded the shelter out of thousands of dollars in a fake-invoice scheme.

On Tuesday, a Tarrant County grand jury indicted Kinloch, 45, on two counts of theft over $20,000 and one count of securing the execution of documents by deception, $20,000 to $100,000. He was released from the Tarrant County Jail on $25,000 bail.

More arrests are possible in the case. The employees involved with Kinloch have been fired, said Toby Owen, the shelter's executive director. Information about their activities has been turned over to the Tarrant County district attorney's office, which is investigating, Owen said.

Things were not supposed to work out this way, Owen said.

"He started a year before I came to work here, and he had a criminal history," Owen said. "But we certainly are an organization of second chances, and we thought he might provide a good example to the clients that we serve.

"It's just extremely unfortunate what happened and the way that things turned out."

Kinloch was convicted of rape and robbery in New York. Because he is now considered a habitual offender, he could be sentenced to up to life in prison if convicted of any of the charges, according to a news release from the district attorney's office.

Kinloch is accused of creating fake invoices from a company purporting to be a food vendor and presenting those invoices to shelter officials and issuing checks.

"We had been using this company for quite a while," Owen said. "An invoice to purchase the food was created, and other employees would report that the food was checked in and that we were using that food. We were within budget, and everything looked fine."

But after Kinloch left the shelter job in January, the controls used to make food purchases began to turn up irregularities, Owen said.

"Our internal checks and balances showed that things were not operating as they should," Owen said.

Vetted before hiring

In 1983, Kinloch was convicted of rape in New York and sentenced to prison. Released on parole in 1996, Kinloch began working as a substance abuse counselor. He later got a job with the Metropolitan Ministries shelter in Tampa, Fla., and worked his way up to manager, then director.

Kinloch had 10 years' experience running and managing homeless shelters in Tampa and Austin before the Fort Worth shelter hired him in 2007.

Shelter officials said then that Kenloch disclosed his record and that they carefully examined his background, references and credentials.

That information was shared with the shelter's 35-member board of directors, which did not object to his hiring, the officials had said.

The shelter is conducting its own procedural analysis to prevent a recurrence and will contract with a third-party auditor to review policies and procedures, according to a statement from the shelter. The shelter has criminal and theft insurance to cover losses, the statement said.

Owen said he hopes that people will not lose confidence in the shelter's ability to achieve its mission.

"The Presbyterian Night Shelter had 582 people here last night and 62 of them were children," Owen said. "What we do, we do for them. The shelter is a needed resource for the community as a whole. We are bigger than this situation, and we will come through this."

What shelter employees need to do now is what they are doing -- re-examine policies and procedures to make sure nothing is systemically wrong with the control systems -- said Nancy Jones, president of the Community Foundation of North Texas.

"You try to balance between what your funders expect from you and try to live your message," Jones said. "This is not necessarily a black mark against the organization."

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

Twitter: @stcrime

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