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Christel Slaughter of the SSA firm speaks on item 77 concerning a study for preparation of a total compensation study for municipal police classifications of the Baton Rouge Police Department during a meeting of the metro council, Wednesday, April 25, 2018, at City Hall in Baton Rouge, La.

The Our Lady of the Lake Foundation board Tuesday named Christel Slaughter as its interim president to fill in for a leader recently fired on allegations he stole several hundred thousand dollars through “a pattern of forgery and embezzlement of funds.”

She will begin work on Monday. The Our Lady of the Lake Foundation has 17 employees and raises money for Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, which is part of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System.

Slaughter is chief executive officer at SSA Consultants, a Baton Rouge-based management consulting firm. She also serves on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and chairs the lobbying organization’s Small Business Council. Slaughter has worked in healthcare as well as a variety of industries, including engagements with the Louisiana Emergency Response Network, Blueprint Louisiana, and the East Baton Rouge City-Parish Green Light Plan, according to the Lake Foundation board. She also currently serves on the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University Board.

Lake administrators fired John-Paul Funes on Nov. 6. He was president and chief executive officer of the hospital system’s nonprofit fundraising arm after auditors found questionable expenditures using foundation money. “Our compliance program that began an investigation that concluded Mr. Funes falsified documents and embezzled funds on multiple occasions for personal gain,” Lake administrators said in a statement.

Lake administrators refuse to comment on specifics but turned over its financial documentation to 19th Judicial District Attorney Hillar Moore III and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s financial fraud unit for further investigation and possible criminal indictments.

The foundation reported on federal disclosures that it held $40.2 million in net assets for the fiscal year ending June 30. The foundation is raising money for a new children’s hospital building, which it hopes to open in October 2019.

“We’re very close to reaching our fundraising target for the new Children’s Hospital as we get nearer to our opening next fall. I have no doubt Christel will make a positive impact and help move the Foundation forward while we seek to fill this role permanently,” Board Chairman Julio Melara said in a press release.

Follow Mark Ballard on Twitter, @MarkBallardCnb.