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State audit critical of Arlington entitlement program

The state contends $30,000 in unallowable expenses, including payments to the city clerk and mayor, were misspent.

ARLINGTON, Ga. — A state of Georgia audit of a program meant to help feed underprivileged youths during the summer, suggests more than $30,000 was misspent, including undocumented payments to the town’s mayor and clerk.

The audit, which was commissioned by “Bright from the Start,” Georgia’s department of Early Care and Learning, reviewed program documents from fiscal years 2010 and 2011 and found “unallowable costs and inaccurate claims in all periods reviewed.”

The auditors noted that, in addition to the fact that in June alone the number of meals the group served during the month was exaggerated by more than 4,000, Mayor Marvin King and City Clerk Mary King — no relation — received undocumented payments or payments that weren’t properly signed.

The auditors are recommending a more comprehensive review of the total program “to determine all pending unallowable costs.”

Stacy Moore, director of public relations for the state’s Department of Early Care and Learning, said there is an ongoing investigation into the Arlington Summer food program and wouldn’t comment further.

According to the audit, the program misspent a total of $3,890 in fiscal year 2010, including “unallowable” labor costs, which included payments of $800 to Marvin King and $550 to Mary King.

In FY 2011, the audit notes that more than $26,000 in unallowable expenses were found, including improperly filed paperwork, incomplete or missing timesheets, documents filed without proper signatures, payments to unidentified employees, overpayments and costs paid above what was budgeted.

Comments

supersquawker 2 years, 9 months ago

Odds are they are driving BMWs or Mercedes or perhaps Cadillac Escalade SUV. Just a guess.

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billstrickland 2 years, 9 months ago

I doubt $550 would make one payment on an Escalade SUV, smart guy. Without knowing further details, I would point out that, for example, if an employee purchases an approved supply item for work but neglects to hold on to the receipt, that, too, could be an "unallowable expense." What you're likely to find here is more likely to be paperwork and procedure problems than outright theft or fraud.

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supersquawker 2 years, 9 months ago

It's a pandemic epidemic. Please don't excuse it. If you pay taxes, you funded it.

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waltspecht 2 years, 9 months ago

They are talking about illegal payments to the Mayor and Clerk for Labor that may or may not have been performed

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whattheheck 2 years, 9 months ago

Unfortunately not an isolated event as things go with government funds. Do the audit, substantiate the loss, identify the guilty, get the money back, and if possible prosecute the offenders.

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chinaberry25 2 years, 9 months ago

It is probably going on everywhere. Cannot trust anyone with money anymore. They ought to be fired or removed from office.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 9 months ago

And the fleecing of the State continues...

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whattheheck 2 years, 9 months ago

It won't stop. Programs using public money are generally not subjected to much oversight and those operating in the programs know it. If a person chooses to steal, it is not that hard to do in the social programs unless a means of effective oversight has been set up or the public watches and questions what it sees.

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truthsayer 2 years, 9 months ago

I think most of the comments coming from the guilty parties is ''we didn't know we couldn't pay ourselves with this money''. What he should have said is ''I didn't know anyone was watching the money''.

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TrixibelleBento 2 years, 9 months ago

I'd like to work for these folks. I deal with a federal program and the spreadsheets that I have to keep to account for everything is mind-boggling. My program gets audited every year and I haven't had any findings so far, but that doesn't mean that they couldn't find something at some point that I forgot to do. Just because an auditor finds something doesn't mean that the person should be put in jail. They might have found a document that didn't have a date on it, was filled out incorrectly or wasn't filed on time. There are thousands of things that could be found--that's what an auditor is for. They are paid to find inconsistencies or things that are wrong. If there's a audit finding, then that's when you have to worry.

Now if these folks blatantly did something wrong, then yes, punish them. They accepted the money and should've known the strings that are attached and the rules about spending that money.

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watchdog 2 years, 9 months ago

This is just the tip of the iceberg and it is not just a typo Billie boy- a four year old should be able to figure that out - it is thief no matter how you print it or what kind of slant people who think like you put on it !

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