BALTIMORE (WMAR) — A newly released report by Baltimore City's Inspector General (OIG) found that a 2018 Baltimore Children & Youth Fund (BCYF) grant worth nearly $17,000 was misspent.
The grant was administered through Associated Black Charities (ABC) and awarded to a grantee who was supposed to make changes to a building they were later found to be living in.
A complaint alleged the funds were being spent outside of a required mandate built within the BCYF-approved budget.
Allegations involved inadequate facilities lacking electricity, exposed wiring, and an inoperable HVAC system. The OIG also found that the grantee may have benefited from the money, by living at the place where upgrades were being completed.
But later, Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation records revealed the grantee is actually the owner of the building, and that the grant funded an HVAC system upgrade and hot water heater that services the entire building.
The OIG also found the grantee was never issued an occupancy permit from the Department of Housing and Community Development during the project. They applied for one on August 7, 2019 but it was never issued.
The grantee also failed their last building inspection in November 2019.
The grantee received two checks from the BYCF. One for $1,656.25 for insurance expenses and a second check for $8,390.
Though the grantee submitted justification documentation including receipts, canceled checks and proposals, the ABC only approved $7,023.91 of the $8,390, leaving $1,366.09 unaccounted for. The grantee never received the other half of the grant, and is no longer eligible for it following the OIG report.
ABC at the time didn’t require the grantee to provide expense justification documents before requesting additional grant disbursements. Because of this, the OIG found a lack of compliance protocols in place to make sure the grant funds were being spent within the award guidelines.
The full report can be read below.