Jefferson Parish Council kills $40,000 in additional parish funding for Rickey Jackson youth center _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Hall of Famer Rickey Jackson greets Governor-elect John Bel Edwards before a Saints game against the Carolina Panthers in the Superdome on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015.

Former Saints star Rickey Jackson’s center for troubled youth in Marrero will not receive an additional $40,000 from Jefferson Parish after a recently released audit criticized the way the facility handled previous allocations, the Parish Council decided Wednesday.

The council’s decision came a year after the Internal Revenue Service revoked the tax-exempt status of Jackson’s Community Hope Center, citing its repeated failure to file required reports.

It was not immediately clear what the council’s vote, made without discussion, means for the center’s future operations.

Jackson did not return a request for comment. Parish Councilman Mark Spears, who sponsored the funding proposal but then moved to spike it Wednesday after multiple deferrals, also did not comment.

Since early 2013, Jefferson Parish’s government has provided $235,000 for Jackson’s center to provide after-school counseling, mentoring, academic enrichment, leadership and career training programs to abused and at-risk youth at a site on Barataria Boulevard. The center also has offered children access to computers and a recording studio.

However, the Jefferson Parish Inspector General’s Office last month published an audit reviewing about $203,000 in parish reimbursements given to the center to cover certain expenses. The audit said the facility had not adequately proved it had spent more than $158,000 of the reimbursements the way it said it had, among other shortcomings.

Asked about the audit last month, Jackson said he had assumed day-to-day management of the facility, which had previously been run by his son, Rickeem. He also said he was in the process of recovering the facility’s IRS tax-exempt status, though that wasn’t reflected in online federal government records Wednesday.

Jackson joined the NFL in 1981, spending 13 of his 15 seasons in the league with the Saints. The ex-linebacker holds New Orleans’ franchise record for quarterback sacks and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.