Audit Reveals Misuse of Stimulus Funds in Baltimore

Fox 45 investigation uncovers funds meant for at risk youth instead spent on cruises, orchestra

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Federal stimulus funds intended for at risk youth were redirected to pay for Baltimore Inner Harbor cruises and an orchestra, Fox 45 WFBB reports:

Expenditures from federal stimulus money by Baltimore City and Prince George's County school officials are under scrutiny after the funds were misused.

In a report revealed by Fox45, $4,300 in stimulus funds meant to educate at risk students in Baltimore was spent on dinner cruises at the Inner Harbor instead. We also found where more than $5,000 dollars was spent, not in the classroom but on face painting, balloons and steel orchestra.

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Many members of the State Senate Education Committee weren't even unaware of until we brought it to their attention.

The 67 page audit references how a PTA meeting held in Baltimore City that included only 28 people cost $2,500.

A spokeswoman for the Baltimore City school system knew nothing about the report until we continued to ask for an explanation. The audit also found misusing of funds in Prince George's County. The purchase of a $222 pencil sharpener has been flagged along with the 145 watches with velvet pouches that were purchased for principals.

WFBB's Tuesday report is latest example of local municipalities misusing or wasting federal stimulus dollars.

An April Cause for Action report exposed local health departments across the country for using stimulus money to finance lobbying activities in violation of federal law.

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