The former director of the Bronx Community Pride Center has been arrested and accused of stealing over $338K for personal expenses—including a vacation for her and her future wife to South Africa. Lisa Winters, 47, has been charged with grand larceny and falsifying business records when she worked at the center as executive director from 2004 until her termination in 2010. The center now faces a huge deficit and could be closed completely by Saturday: “I really can’t say anything,” Winters told the Post.
Among other things, the Department of Investigations report found that Winters used around $25K on a monthlong trip to South Africa with her future-wife Eileen Scroggins in July 2007. She allegedly spent around $4.6K for a trip to the United Kingdom and the Turks & Caicos. Almost $16K went to her dog walker, $12K went to restaurant meals, $9K was spent at pet stores, $11K at clothing stores, and just under $2K at liquor stores. She also allegedly used a cruise package which had been purchased by the center “to auction at a fund-raiser," according to BCPC board Chair Michelle Lopez.
Winters and her wife Scroggins, who have been together for 14 years, were married at the City Clerk's office in Manhattan on the first day of legal gay marriage last year—and by chance, we were on hand to photograph it. Dan Choi, the former National Guard officer who was discharged after coming out, ended up serving as a witness for them, and even got Judge Doris Ling-Cohan—the judge who ruled in 2005 that gay and lesbian couples in NY must have equal access to marriage—to perform the ceremony.
Photographer Katie Sokoler took the couple's wedding photos for free that day: "It was such an inspiring day that I wanted to give a gift to a random couple and they looked so sweet so I approached them." She said that Scroggins "kept telling me about their wonderful trip to Africa. I was so excited and wanted to hear all about it and couldn't believe they went for a whole month."