Last week, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs released an audit of funds awarded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act between August 2009 and September 2010. The audit lists 74 questioned costs.
After the findings are listed, the report also notes that “there was no documentation to substantiate that the participants were provided basic skills training for employment, which was part of the program narrative.”
CAA Board Chairwoman Dolia Patterson said the matter had been turned over to the appropriate agency, in this case the board’s insurance company.
“I’m limited as to what I can say as to all the dynamics regarding the stimulus funds. But the board’s is a programmatic thrust, with the executive director handling the day-to-day operations. But there were some concerns about documentation that resulted in disallowable funds for agency.”
The executive director at the time of findings has retired, and current director Jesse Cleveland had nothing to do with this program. She also pointed out that these were one-time monies from a program that expired in 2010. The guidelines were developed within the grant, she added.
The majority of the findings deal with clothing allowances that lack proper supporting documentation. The clothing allowance in this particular program is capped at $100, so most of these costs are relatively small. There are also several larger findings, however.
One of the finding is listed about three-quarters of the way through the audit and says one of the employees in the program was the “daughter of the executive director (and was) placed with the city of Talladega (where her) husband served as a councilman. (Her) resume shows presently employed, and there was clothing allowance documentation.” This employee was paid $4,908.84, plus a $100 clothing allowance.
The executive director during the time of the program was Horace Sims, whose daughter is married to former Talladega City Councilman Eddie Tucker. Sims could not be reached for comment.
Another finding listed an employee whose resume showed he or she worked at Isiash House, which is described as a “host employer.” This employee was supervised by his or her grandmother and provided no clothing allowance documentation.
Another finding listed a different employee who was supervised by her mother and had no income statement on file, with wages and benefits at $12,827.57 plus clothing allowance.
The first listed finding is an employee in a program for people between the ages of 25 and 40 who did not meet the age criteria. The audit does not say whether the person was too young or too old, and does not show how much this person had been paid. Another finding shows that an employee was paid a $100 clothing allowance even though there is no other existing record of this person participating in the program. Yet another employee did not meet the age criteria and was otherwise employed at the time; total wages and benefits paid to this employee were $15,819.17, plus $100 for clothing.
Still another employee was currently employed, had no employment documentation on file, and was paid $11,006.14 plus clothing. One employee was given a $100 clothing allowance for “cook’s clothes” and spent $56.43 on jewelry and printed T-shirts, according to the audit. Another employee spent $56.42 on “inappropriate clothing” that would have to be returned.
Another employee still provided necessary documents only after the fact but was paid $8,676.59, while another submitted conflicting documents and was paid $11,953.46 plus clothing allowance, while a third submitted no income or unemployment documents but was paid $6,140.36 plus clothing allowance.
A $12,435.73 employee was outside the age requirement and provided after the fact documentation, according to the report and an employee that was paid $8,891.89 but provided only a handwritten document (which is not acceptable) and the handwriting was different than what was on the application. Another employee failing to meet the age criteria was paid $8,917.73. Another $2,945.31 was paid to an employee whose time sheets appear to have been signed by more than one person, one of them under a different name.
Two more were paid $4,814.11 and $4,913.15 plus the full $100 clothing allotment while being outside the age range and not submitting any documentation. Another was paid $5,267.20 in spite of providing no documentation showing unemployment, household income or clothing documentation.
The last listed findings include two employees outside the age criteria with no clothing documentation at $4,939.95 and $4,492.12, and an employee who was paid $1,925.75 with no unemployment documentation, no household income statement and no clothing documentation.
The board will be required to submit a detailed repayment plan that does not involve any federal or ADECA funds.
Contact Chris Norwood at firstname.lastname@example.org