February 4, 2006
A new twist on the collection plate:
A rehabilitation program at a church is facing allegations it forced people to work as telemarketers for 28 cents an hour under the threat they could go back to jail.
The state Department of Human Services, which investigated the program, notified the House of Refuge on Thursday that it had 10 days to explain itself before its license would be revoked and the program shut down.
The men were sent to the program by judges or state agencies for substance abuse rehabilitation. A department report said they were paid about 28 cents an hour, but even those wages were withheld and donated to the church.
… Steve Sandlin, one of the pastors at Central Christ Church, said he was preparing a response and did not have an immediate comment.
State Department of Commerce Executive Director Francine Giani said the Division of Consumer Protection also found that the telemarketing company was not registered as a business in the state. She said Sandlin was told two weeks ago to shut it down or register it. The company had not been registered as of Thursday.
Malachi 3:8 comes to mind…
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