MILWAUKEE -- UNISON President and CEO Laurie Lambach was detained on Tuesday, Nov. 20 by the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office under probable cause of misappropriation of funds. Officials with the nonprofit organization said Lambach was arrested at a fundraising meeting.
UNISON is contracted by Milwaukee County to run senior centers and deliver hot meals, among other services for an estimated 15,000 people in the Milwaukee area. The organization was created after two other nonprofits, Interfaith and SET Ministry merged in 2017.
Lambach, who was making more than $110,000 as the leader of SET Ministry in 2016, took over UNISON and its $11 million operating budget. Just this year, she was honored as "Alumna of the Year" by her high school, Divine Savior Holy Angels.
Officials with the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County said they cut off funding to UNISON in August after the organization failed to provide audited financial records.
A statement from the UNISON says the following:
"This came as a shock to everyone at UNISON, and we’re taking this matter very seriously. Laurie Lambach has been suspended from her role as President and CEO until all the facts have been gathered. With the support of the UNISON board, Vice President of Program Services Cathy Young and Interim CFO Jessica Horning will serve as Acting co- executive directors. UNISON remains committed to its mission of fostering healthier communities and service to our clients and members will not be disrupted."