BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Office of the Inspector General finds a grantee of the 2018 Baltimore Children & Youth Fund misappropriated over $16,000, allegedly to make building changes to a facility they were found to be living in.
The grantee had been awarded $16,870 to be spent within the BCYF-approved budget, which outlines staff expenses, facility operations, maintenance, among other things; but a complaint alleged the grantee used those funds in a way not compliant with the budget.READ MORE: Man Caught With 30 Pounds Of Cocaine Hidden In Wheelchair At BWI Airport
The allegations say the funds were used to fix inadequate facilities lacking electricity, exposed wiring and an inoperable HVAC system. The grantee also resides in the facility on the second floor, potentially benefitting from the building upgrades.
The OIG learned the grantee received two checks from the BYCF. One for $1,656.25 to cover insurance expenses for the grantee. On December 28, 2018, the second check for $8,390 was paid.
According to the Associated Black Charities, who administered the funds, the BCYF grant is not a reimbursement grant, the grant funds are paid if the initial budget is approved.
The OIG found the grantee had submitted justification documentation including receipts, canceled checks and proposals. However, ABC only approved $7,023.91 of the $8,390, leaving $1,366.09 unaccounted for.READ MORE: LIST: Fourth Of July Fireworks In The Baltimore Region
The OIG found ABC didn’t require the grantee to provide expense justification documents before requesting additional grant disbursements. Once ABC got the expense documents, they vetted the expenses but had no bearing on the previous disbursement.
The grantee was not issued a Use and Occupancy permit from the Department of Housing and Community Development, OIG’s report found.
They also found there was a lack of compliance protocols to make sure the grant funds were being spent in line with the award guidelines.
The BCYF grant funded the HVAC system upgrade and hot water heater that services the entire building. The grantee admitted to living on the second floor of the facility but did not previously disclose that they lived there.
The DHCD also said the grantee failed the last building inspection for the facility in November 2019.MORE NEWS: Maryland's Highest Court Reinstates Murder Conviction In Teens’ Graduation-Eve Slayings
The grantee was suspended on November 6, 2019, and is no longer eligible for grant funding.