A bulk of the federal money received by Bell was from the CDBG program which is intended to provide assistance for low-income housing, among other things.Did the City use this money to help provide low income housing or did it instead use the money to pad its highly paid administrators salaries?
It’s a normal practice for cities to charge a part of their administrative salaries to both federal and state grants and certainly a reasonable amount would be appropriate. However, given the outrageous salaries in Bell, one has to wonder whether the federal grants were eaten up by these salary charges or whether the community benefitted from this federal funding.
An annual external audit was required and conducted, but unfortunately the city received a clean opinion and no internal control or compliance issues were raised in the audit.
James Spencer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org