Video results in removal of St. Vincent de Paul volunteer - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Video results in removal of St. Vincent de Paul volunteer

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A local charity that gives to the homeless is being questioned about its donations after something caught on video made St. Vincent de Paul remove one of its volunteers.

Larry Swick and his roommate captured video Monday from the porch of their home. It shows the alley behind the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store off Hikes lane. A store worker appears to go in and out of the warehouse six times, loading the truck, and this is what troubled Swick the most.

"The stuff that people are donating is supposed to be sold to help the homeless," Swick said. "The guy in the red truck handed the employee money and the employee put it directly in his pocket."

The video does not clearly show a money exchange, though Swick says he knows what he saw.

"If you were buying this stuff, why not go to the front door?" Swick asked.

St. Vincent de Paul representatives say the store throws out merchandise it can't sell all the time and that dumpster divers stalk this alley almost daily.

"This was garbage that the store manager had designated for the dumpster and the volunteer's mistake was he collected it at the loading dock and, instead, loaded it into a man's truck," said Linda Romine of St. Vincent de Paul. "That's a violation of our policy."

St. Vincent de Paul uses volunteers -- some court appointed -- to help staff all four of its local thrift stores.

The money from secondhand sales helps to feed, clothe and house the poor.

WDRB's Gilbert Corsey asked Romine if any money exchanged hands during the incident.

"The volunteer denied it and we have no way of proving otherwise," Romine said. "We have our suspicions, but I can't get into specific personnel discussions, but he was let go."

Swick says this is not a one-time thing and he told store workers, fearing donations through the front door were sold out the back door to peddlers.

"Nothing," Swick said. "No reaction out of them."    

He wanted the video to get the charity's attention.

It worked.

"We took action within 24 hours of being notified and we value the public's trust in St. Vincent de Paul," Romine said.

It looks like one man's trash really is another mans treasure.

WDRB is not identifying the volunteer as he is not facing any criminal charges.

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