BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The former executive director of the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity has broken her silence.

In a statement sent from her lawyer to media outlets Tuesday, Sharon Myles said she never mismanaged JCCEO funds and was terminated “due to an internal struggle for control.”

“In recent weeks, instead of focusing on serving the community and continuing operations, some leaders of the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity (JCCEO) have taken to the press and the airwaves to engage in character assassination of Sharon Myles, the former JCCEO Executive Director to create a smoke screen and shift the blame for the organization’s financial issues,” the statement read.

JCCEO garnered significant media coverage earlier this year when the organization failed to make payroll and eventually laid off dozens of Head Start employees.

JCCEO terminated Myles on Nov. 1. That’s when, Myles claims, financial issues began to simmer to the surface.

“Had she not been terminated on November 1, 2021, payroll would have been made, and JCCEO would have continued operations,” the statement read.

Myles claims that while other JCCEO leaders have been “engaged in character assassination,” she has “not engaged in the finger pointing and name-calling that has been coming from some associated with JCCEO.”

While the statement does not identify anyone by name, in it, Myles “demands a retraction of the defamatory statements of the board members made about her in this matter.”

You can read Myles’ full statement below.