Richmond's DSS responds to allegations it misused grant money - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Richmond's DSS responds to allegations it misused grant money

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Richmond's troubled Department of Social Services fired back Tuesday, after allegations it misused taxpayer money in buying laptops and iPads.

That equipment was purchased for foster children graduating from an independent living program. The city inspector general's office investigated an allegation DSS wasn't following the rules and therefore wasted almost $72,000.

"There was no documentation, wrong documentation," the city auditor's office listed in its presentation.

This time, instead of accusations it put children in danger, the department of social services is facing allegations it did not comply with state grant requirements and misused state and federal funding.

Because of that, the investigation says, DSS ended up having to pay for almost $72,000 in iPads and laptops not with grant money but with dollars from city coffers.

At an audit committee meeting Tuesday, department financial officials set the record straight. Tuesday, Angela Yancey with the department answered the allegations.

"I just wanted the facts on the table," she told us.

According to Yancey, the money was spent correctly.

"We have been reimbursed for $46,000 of the $72,000 expended," she explained.  

As for the rest of the money, Yancey says the department has submitted a request for reimbursement. She believes this was probably just a misunderstanding.

"We can only submit according to how we've expended," she added. "So until the check goes out the door, we can't report for reimbursement. So when the checks went out the door in June we were able to start reporting."

Yancey believes it could take until next fiscal year to get back all of the money.

This report was one of three investigations given to the audit committee Tuesday. NBC12 has already reported on one dealing with the value of the mayor's property and another with the former finance head, Sharon Judkins.

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