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Room in the Inn director fired after theft

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A director of Room in the Inn was fired after the board of directors discovered $75,000 missing, Channel 4 News has learned.

The woman was fired for theft. She had been serving as a community director for the non-profit.

Ron Nolen, who has been homeless for eight months and now is a regular at Room in the Inn, said it's frustrating to hear money meant to help people like him get back on their feet was stolen.

"The money donated to the agency is designed for people who need that money, not for people who have a job receiving a paycheck," said Nolen, who has been homeless for eight months and now is a regular at Room in the Inn.

Room at the Inn's directors would not comment on the situation, but did release a statement.

"Room in the Inn has recently learned of and is investigating theft of approximately $75,000 by a former employee that occurred in violation of our internal operational procedure," the statement read.

Leaders wouldn't comment on how the money was taken, saying their investigation is ongoing.

Records show Room in the Inn collected nearly $4 million in donations last year, money that's supposed to go toward helping Nashville's homeless.

"It's too much money at the top and not enough at the bottom," Nolen said. "It's too easy to take the money because there's no paper trail. You're not accountable for it."

"We are committed to recouping these stolen funds and have insured that our clients have suffered no detriment as a result of this theft," Room in the Inn's statement read. "We were deeply saddened to learn of this violation of trust which is the only occurrence of this type in our 27-year history."

The woman accused has not been arrested, but Room in the Inn is working with its attorneys and could press charges.

"They been doing what they been doing for years, to help these people out around here, and if somebody steals from them, then they'll steal from anybody," said Waymond Wylie, who is homeless.

Officials would not go into detail about how the money was stolen, but sources told Channel 4 News the money was stolen in the form of gift cards that were supposed to go to people at Room in the Inn.

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