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Arlington must repay money from program

ARLINGTON, Ga. — State officials have issued an ultimatum to city officials in Arlington, demanding they repay more than $85,000 in misspent funding for a summer food program for children or be stripped of future funding.

In a letter sent to Arlington officials on Nov. 17, Louis Brienza, director of Nutrition Services for Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, set a Dec. 2 deadline for the City Council to reform the program that he contends hemorrhaged money on “unallowable” expenses and inflated the amount of meals that were dispersed as part of the Summer Food Service Program.

“The city of Arlington and its principles, Dicy C. Burkes Director/Program Contact, Marvin King, Mayor/administrator, and Mary King, Administrative Assistant, are determined to be seriously deficient in the operation of the SFSP,” the letter states. “This designation is based on severe program violations that involve failure to maintain adequate records, failure to demonstrate financial and administrative capability, failure to have adequate supervisory and operational personnel for overall monitoring and management, and the failure to adhere to the meal service requirements.”

The letter specifies that the council has until Dec. 2 to revamp its program to include updating their application procedures, meal count procedures, develop training sessions and providing documentation to prove it can adequately administer and oversee the program.

Additionally, state officials say the council must repay $38,543 to the Bright from the Start program and put an additional $45,601 back into the city’s summer food program.

Failure to comply by Dec. 2, according to the letter, “will result in Bright from the Start issuing a Notice of Termination and Disqualification of city of Arlington participation in (the summer food program) and placement of the organization and its responsible principles ... on the state Disqualified List.”

City of Arlington Attorney Tommy Coleman said Tuesday that he’s been in contact with the state on the matter and is seeking an extension on the deadline.

A separate preliminary criminal investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and an inquiry by the district attorney’s office into the program yielded no evidence of criminal activity, according to a letter written by GBI Special Agent-in-Charge Kim Baker of the agency’s Sylvester office.

Comments

waltspecht 2 years, 4 months ago

So, they say we can't charge them with criminal lining of their pockets with taxpayers money? Wonder if there isn't some way to attach their personnal wealth to repay the debt? After all, thats where at least some of it went. Political immunity shouldn't cover misdirection of funds, or were we dumb enough to allow them to write that into law?

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truthsayer 2 years, 4 months ago

No they won't repay, the tax payers will, just a bunch of crooks, and that is what they are, period.

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mortimer 2 years, 4 months ago

Do away with the whole program, it is rampant with abuse.

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whattheheck 2 years, 4 months ago

The taxpayers would save money if it were not repaid and if future participation were banned. And since some of the money went to public officials who "worked" on the program, someone needs to see that they get a W-2 or 1099 so we can get some of the money back through taxes. Crooked misdeeds, plain and simple, done by like-minded folks and condoned by government at all levels.

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truthsayer 2 years, 4 months ago

Too bad they didn't steal that money here in Ebony, cause we call that a loan and you don't have to pay it back, the tax payers will.

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truthsayer 2 years, 4 months ago

So I reckon they won't post my first response so lets try this again. If they would have stolen the money in Ebony there wouldn't be no problem, we call them loans here and you don't have to pay them back, the tax payers will, and you get to keep the money, it don't get no better than that.

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truthsayer 2 years, 4 months ago

This is the third time I've tried to comment and they seem to not like what I post, but it is nothing more than the truth. If they would have stole that money in Ebony, we wouldn't be hearing about this because we call them loans here and you don't have to pay these back, the tax payers will take care of that.

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truthsayer 2 years, 4 months ago

Why do ya'll have a comment section and don't post peoples views, kinda pointless wouldn't you say.

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watchdog 2 years, 4 months ago

I am beginning to feel like truthsayer, I posted over one hour ago for some kind of review and my comments have yet to appear or maybe I should say be accepted !!

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gotanyfacts 2 years, 4 months ago

truthsayer and watchdog, don't take it personally. I'm sure there are limited resouirces given to reviewing comments. I've noticed it taking more than an hour for comments to post.

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watchdog 2 years, 4 months ago

I am beginning to feel like truthsayer I posted 2 hours ago and my blog has not shown up yet ~ take it from one who has set in on all meetings and who blew the whistle ~ i should know !!!

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chinaberry25 2 years, 4 months ago

They are showing up now in droves!

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billstrickland 2 years, 4 months ago

I've seen four-year-olds with more patience. And it's not "your blog." It's a story comments section of the Albany Herald web site, where proper procedure doesn't let just anybody say just anything and have it post immediately without adequate oversight.

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watchdog 2 years, 4 months ago

And I guess you think that you are just that person, small town, small minds and short people all go hand in body, sorry but you are way off on your evaluation of the program, better luck next time, we are up to 85,000 dollars now and climbing, it might hit $ 500,000 thousand before the auditors are finished, we"ll see, just a little more than that $500 you mentioned before, watch out the watch dog in loose

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