Audit slams city housing program

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An audit of one of Augusta's housing programs funded by the federal government found that the city's controls over the program were inadequate.

The Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determined that more than $1 million in the city's HOME program involved questioned costs and money the city could lose.

The June 9 audit report recommended that the city prove the money in its HOME program was properly spent or repay $566,697 in questioned costs and lose $477,373 because of program violations.

The money would be repaid from funds that flow to the housing department from the federal government if it is available. If not, the city would be liable.

The audit found that the housing department did not:

- Properly commit $755,284.

- Have proper documentation to support project approvals and address project performance delays.

- Properly maintain and manage program staff.

- Ensure proper documentation of more than $196,657.

Augusta's Housing and Community Development Director Chester Wheeler said the audit findings are preliminary and he would meet with officials in HUD's Atlanta Office of Community Planning and Development before a final report is issued. He said the audit covers the period from 2003 through the first part of 2007, and that he did not become director until April 2007. The audit report states the audit is part of the activities in the fiscal year 2007 annual audit plan.

However, one member of the Housing Department's Citizens Advisory Board, which Mr. Wheeler refused to meet with and succeeded in disbanding after he became director last year, said regardless of what year the monies were allocated, it was Mr. Wheeler's job to make sure the funds were reprogrammed and spent in a timely fashion.

"Nobody in that department should be allowed to pass the buck," said former board member Barbara Gordon. "And it comes as no surprise to me that that department is in trouble again."

The advisory board was appointed by commissioners to provide oversight of the department, Ms. Gordon said.

"We were supposed to be the eyes and ears for the commission," she said. "Chester Wheeler is trying to run everything by himself."

Mr. Wheeler said the inspector general's interpretation of the requirement that the city spend HOME funds within 24 months is not in sync with the Atlanta Office of Community Planning's interpretation.

"I say that because we were audited by the Atlanta office last year, and we received no findings regarding timeliness," he said.

The audit was designed to determine whether the city complied with HOME program requirements for commitments, completion of project activities and eligibility and proof of project costs.

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.

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jack
10
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jack 06/19/08 - 11:33 am
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Justus4, your usual inane

Justus4, your usual inane racist prattle (look it up). When was the last time the Sheriff Dept got audited (I'm sure they do from time to time) and found such incompetence as this or corruption such as the Purchasing Dept.? How about some specifics for a change? Hmmmmmm didn't thnk so....

jack
10
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jack 06/19/08 - 11:37 am
0
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Intheknow, what cases of

Intheknow, what cases of white females and hudreds of thousands of dollars? What the heck are you talking about? Specifics please.

Hiru
0
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Hiru 06/19/08 - 11:39 am
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So Justus and Nightrider you

So Justus and Nightrider you are saying we can solve all of our local problems by simply hiring White people to do everything for the city? If so, lets just get rid of all people of color in our government and make this city the Aryian City. We could make it law for everyone to be Christian, close all the free housing programs and close free social programs. In a year, there would be no need for a Housing Department, crime would go down, and it would safe to walk the streets at night. We could save the few minorities that were good people and let them do the small jobs that white people don't want to do. Doesn't this sound like a perfect situation? Racism, Bigotry, and Stupidity are still alive in the AC readers. The truth is you don't know what happened or how this story will end. Even if Mr. Wheeler is found to have caused the liability, the problem lays on him and the other elected offcials. Just because he is black, doesn't mean that his actions sould reflect on his entire race. If thats the case, all white people would be labled serial killers and canabals. That would be a asinine statement, same as you both made.

1941
4
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1941 06/19/08 - 12:01 pm
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0
Can someone tell me what

Can someone tell me what happend to ryan b. was here one day and gone the next. hehehehe!!!!

nightsriders
0
Points
nightsriders 06/19/08 - 12:03 pm
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hey hammer, I thought whites

hey hammer, I thought whites were a minority in RC gov, aren't they?

nightsriders
0
Points
nightsriders 06/19/08 - 12:04 pm
0
0
But, I wasn't referring to

But, I wasn't referring to whites. The more blacks in govt, the bigger the problem. If you can prove otherwise, do it!

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 06/19/08 - 12:15 pm
0
0
Nightriders, are what they

Nightriders, are what they called klanmen in the old days. I see we still have one on this site. Leave it to racist losers to make this issue about color. Now you see why this community is so divided.

nightsriders
0
Points
nightsriders 06/19/08 - 12:23 pm
0
0
Can't handle the truth, can

Can't handle the truth, can you rcr, the csra's biggest black racist!

john
991
Points
john 06/19/08 - 12:35 pm
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RCR, I dont think there is

RCR, I dont think there is anything "closet" about justus. He threw the first race comment. Im not defending nightsriders, but be fair in who you slam.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 06/19/08 - 12:38 pm
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I see that day after day you

I see that day after day you get your behind on here and spew your racist BS. Jack if you read the newspaper you will see who these people are. Nightrider or whatever you are calling yourself this week, you seem like an insecured little person. Right John, you are not defending Night but you sure are not speaking out against his daily racist comments.

I4PUTT
5
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I4PUTT 06/19/08 - 12:42 pm
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Forget the racism...just

Forget the racism...just don't react to the truly ignorant. What about solutions to this very real problem? Someone must be accountable. If Mr. Wheeler is not competent, and I don't know if this is the case, get someone who is. Are these employees evaluated? By whom? I don't care if we start at the the top or the bottom, Just start! Forget the past. Forget racism. Forget choosing sides. Just get competent, honest people in all key positions as soon as possible. This has been an embarrassment long enough. We all share some part of the blame.

nightsriders
0
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nightsriders 06/19/08 - 12:42 pm
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intheknow, insecured????

intheknow, insecured???? truth about you blacks hurts, doesn't it. I really don't give a rats if 90% of the blacks in RC govn't are crooks--I don't live there. I just call it the way I see it. RCR, I still have my hoss are you the kettle or the pot, racist bro!

intheknow
16
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intheknow 06/19/08 - 12:43 pm
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0
Whatever loser. Like 14PUTT

Whatever loser. Like 14PUTT stated ' Just do not react to the truely Ignorant. When I put people like you in jail, they break down like little girls. RCR he is not worthy of comment, his ILK is a dying breed and soon they will be use for the only good they are, as fertilizer when their decaying body is put in the ground.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 06/19/08 - 12:46 pm
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Nightsriders, you're nothing

Nightsriders, you're nothing but a loser, who blame all his problems on blacks. It's losers like you, who can't handle the truth. John, Justus use the actual word. Nightsriders/Klanman and Dani, continually used the inference. We know what they were getting at.

dlabbe
13
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dlabbe 06/19/08 - 12:51 pm
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It really comes down to this.

It really comes down to this. white or black they messed up.
we are all human and we have that flaw.

nightsriders
0
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nightsriders 06/19/08 - 12:56 pm
0
0
you scare me intheknow,

you scare me intheknow, little pantyboy. Disprove what I've said, rcr! dlabbe, you are right!

nightsriders
0
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nightsriders 06/19/08 - 01:01 pm
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No, rcr, I'm not a loser, I

No, rcr, I'm not a loser, I made enough off the sweat of the black man's brow to retire quite nicely, how bout you bro? intheknow, you gonna throw me in the back of dat big poooooolice car, I be shaking jackboot!

john
991
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john 06/19/08 - 01:04 pm
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An other good day for Justus.

An other good day for Justus. he is the best drive-by pot-stirrer I have ever seen. Someone always bites.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
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HYPOCRITES 08 06/19/08 - 01:06 pm
0
0
Must be some little kid

Must be some little kid playing on the computer. Who else would be making such immature postings.

nightsriders
0
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nightsriders 06/19/08 - 01:10 pm
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firefighter, hamer is spelled

firefighter, hamer is spelled hammer! Unless you are a firefighter ham radio operator, then, I guess you are a--- hamer?

mgroothand
5
Points
mgroothand 06/19/08 - 01:18 pm
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0
If the majority of RC is

If the majority of RC is black (51% ?) how can they be a minority? Do they want it both ways? And, if so, why?

truthnlove
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truthnlove 06/19/08 - 01:18 pm
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nightsriders.....your

nightsriders.....your comments are uncalled for....as well as some others on here...nothing will ever get solved or be changed as long as this type of tripe continues to be spewed. Ya'll grow up!

nightsriders
0
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nightsriders 06/19/08 - 01:21 pm
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Justus and RCR are two of the

Justus and RCR are two of the biggest racist on these blogs, I guess they think they can dish it out and no one will say anything because they are black. Well, that's bs. When they start their crap, you can bet your azz I will too!

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 06/19/08 - 01:21 pm
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Thanks for the help, but I

Thanks for the help, but I spelled it exactly how I wanted to.

I4PUTT
5
Points
I4PUTT 06/19/08 - 01:23 pm
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0
All sensible posters will

All sensible posters will exit now and leave the truly ignorant to trade hate filled racist remarks...there's no way to to reason with folks like this....RCR You post so many things I agree with..don't let these idiots bait you into these rants...nobody wins...

truthnlove
0
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truthnlove 06/19/08 - 01:31 pm
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and the cycle repeats itself

and the cycle repeats itself endlessly....great vision.

nightsriders
0
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nightsriders 06/19/08 - 01:40 pm
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you are right truth. go for

you are right truth. go for it hamer!

nightsriders
0
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nightsriders 06/19/08 - 01:44 pm
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Putt, no way to reason with

Putt, no way to reason with justus and rcr, you are right, I agree.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
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HYPOCRITES 08 06/19/08 - 03:46 pm
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I don't think that PUTT was

I don't think that PUTT was agreeing with you.

SargentMidTown
8
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SargentMidTown 06/19/08 - 04:49 pm
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0
Section 8 needs work. I have

Section 8 needs work. I have seen many section 8 houses where people were/are selling dope. There is one on Walker St between Crawford Ave and Tuttle ST. Taxpayers are footing the bill and dope dealers are living the life.

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