"It was very difficult to determine who was in charge and who would be accountable for the things that were taking place," Tycely Hicks said Tuesday afternoon.
Hicks was the organization's first executive director. She met Katopodis while working on a political campaign. Later he asked her to help start Computer Help for Kids, the non-profit that grew out of a program at HealthSouth.
In the early years of Computer Help for Kids, money was sparse, Hicks said, and sometimes she would miss paychecks, although the organization would later catch up on the payments. Katopodis worked to refurbish the organization's office space on 11th Avenue South, a building frequently referred to as the "Pita Stop building," because of the restaurant that shares the space.
Hicks worked for the organization for about a year and a half, she testified. At first her working relationship with Katopodis was a good one, but her duties at the organization were never clearly defined and she left.
An associate and friend of Katopodis, Bob McKenna, worked closely with Computer Help for Kids and drew a salary as its director throughout much of the charity's existence.
McKenna, who now works as an assistant to Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford, testified that he frequently asked Katopodis to convene board meetings and asked Katopodis to share the organization's financial records with him.
"He would say 'It's confusing,' and he would say we would sit down and figure it out," McKenna said.
However, at times McKenna's Tuesday testimony contradicted his testimony to the grand jury, which was much more direct and dramatic.
"Actually, John would fly off the handle whenever I asked about the books," McKenna read from a transcript of his grand jury testimony. "He was like, 'Fine, you do the goddamn books.'"
McKenna testified in court that Computer Help for Kids was still a functional non-profit with a future when he left it in 2007, but that also conflicted with his grand jury testimony. Last year, he told the grand jury that the charity had "pretty much run its course."
Testimony will continue Wednesday morning.
For Tuesday morning coverage, click here.
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