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HUD clears Ironton in probe

A federal investigation into a claim that Ironton city officials misused HUD dollars shows no wrongdoing was found, according to a press release this morning.

Tuesday, November 21, 2000

A federal investigation into a claim that Ironton city officials misused HUD dollars shows no wrongdoing was found, according to a press release this morning.

The HUD Inspector Generals Office recently completed the 14-month audit process, which involved an extensive eight-month period of audit teams in the community, the release stated.

Audit teams reviewed all records relating to HUD funding over an eight-year period, beginning with funding which was awarded in 1992, it stated.

"We’ve been expecting the findings on this audit for some time now," Ironton Mayor Bob Cleary said. "We are real pleased to announce there are no indications of any money stolen."

The audit started after a HUD hotline complaint alleged the city misused Community Development Block Grant money.

"The anonymous tip of the city misappropriating funds was based on information received from the HUD’s 2020 Internet map," Cleary said.

"The map is designed to provide a general description and location of where HUD funds were spent."

The agency’s Web site map, which the allegations were based on, did not accurately show the locations of where HUD funds were used in Ironton, according to the HUD news release.

Neither city officials nor officials of the Ironton Lawrence County Area Community Action Organization were found to be responsible for the faulty map information, Cleary said.

"HUD has admitted their (HUD 2020) map showing where money was spent is inaccurate," he said. "They did not find any theft of money and our accounting was accurate. All HUD grant funds were accounted for."

The audit did find that all federally-funded projects were within their targeted areas as proposed in the funding agreements, Cleary said.

"There were some small details of construction work that raised some question, but they were only technicalities and we’ll be addressing those in the near future," he said. "We are planning to tighten our guidelines to make sure federal guidelines are followed to the fullest."