Operation REACH's daycare center facing license revocation

Update, 11:34 a.m.: The general counsel for the Division of Administrative Law informed The Lens early Tuesday morning that The Knowledge Garden had requested a continuance of their hearing late Monday evening. As of 9 a.m., Knowledge Garden officials were in a phone conference with the division to set a new hearing date.

New documents, close reading of study show leader of Operation REACH got facts wrong

By Jessica Williams, The Lens staff writer |

After The Lens reported on a troubled education nonprofit that lost the bulk of its federal funding, its embattled leader, Kyshun Webster, said that he, not the governmental service agency AmeriCorps, severed the financial ties. And when critics pointed to Webster’s generous salary and executive allowance as a justification for the federal pullout, he defended his income, saying that it was comparable to the industry average.

Brother of Operation Reach leader is accused of sexual assault

By Jessica Williams, The Lens staff writer |

While unspecified financial concerns are at the heart of the federal government’s review of Operation REACH, an allegation of sexual assault by an employee has also cast a shadow over the troubled organization. A police report filed with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in May accuses Wilfred Wright, the brother of Operation REACH’s chief executive officer Kyshun Webster, of assaulting her sexually in the course of a boozy evening.

Lens' Gert Town investigation draws IG attention; city review met with resistance

By Jessica Williams, The Lens staff writer |

As a result of an investigation by The Lens, the secretive director of the Gert Town Revival Initiative not only had to provide answers to the city about her finances – but the organization may well have to face the inspector general’s probing eye, too. During a May monitoring visit, the organization’s director, the Rev. Lois Dejean, would not provide all the information requested by the city, said Deputy Mayor Cedric Grant.

Dejean kept Gert Town board in the dark, ex-chairman of secretive non-profit contends

By Jessica Williams, The Lens staff writer |

The embattled director of a Gert Town community fund has been as reluctant to share information with her board as with the community she is meant to serve, according to a former board chairman. An investigative report published last week by The Lens noted neighborhood concern that spending of a community betterment fund by a nonprofit called the Gert Town Revival Initiative has been shrouded in secrecy and that, from what little is known of it, more than half the money expended between 2005 and 2010 went towards the salary collected by its director, the Rev. Lois Dejean, a gospel singer and retired pastor.