Former associate of Reggie Rucker speaks out

Posted at 7:53 PM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-17 19:53:27-05

When 55-year-old Gregory 'Tanto' Terrell got out of prison 24 years ago, he decided he wanted to help inner city youth.

He said, "I wanted to make sure that no other child in my community would have to go through the experience that I went through."

So he got connected with the Cleveland Peacemaker's Alliance.

"I met Reggie Rucker and I liked him, thought he was a good guy. Thought that the work that he was doing was commendable and I wanted to be a part of that as well," Terrell explained.

But just a short six months later, Terrell said he noticed inconsistencies.

“I saw some things that didn't sit right with me."

He shared his concerns with the organization's leadership, but ultimately decided it was time to part ways.

"The people who ran it, Reggie Rucker and his staff, just wasn't doing the right thing maybe they didn't know, maybe they were too overwhelmed, so I decided to step away from it."

Now that Reggie Rucker faces nearly two years of jail time for allegedly using the organization's funds to pay off gambling debts, Terrell said the whole ordeal is unfortunate, but not surprising.

“I saw it immediately," he said. "What I didn't know was Reggie was who he eventually the public found out that he was…unfortunately, his deeds caught up to him."

Although he's no longer with that organization, he explained he still wished them well and hoped to collaborate in the future.

“I can't say enough about Cleveland's Peacemaker's Alliance, I think that it's a beautiful thing, a beautiful concept and I think that it'll be a thriving organization granted now that the leadership has changed," Terrell said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Rucker swindled more than $100,000 from donors to his personal bank account and will be expected to pay that money back along with his prison time.