WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is conducitng official reviews of the North Carolina agency responsible for distributing the more than $200 million in federal aid money granted to the state after Hurricane Matthew drenched the state with historic flooding in 2016.
So far, only about one percent of that money has been distributed. state lawmakers with affected districts have been voicing concern for, well, years about the mindnumbingly slow pace of Governor Roy Cooper’s emergency management agency. The Democratic governor is quick to deflect blame on bureaucratic changes made by predecessors, or downplay the failure as inflated by Republican partisanship.
Apparently, the Office of Inspector General at HUD was not satisfied with these excuses for nearly all of the hundreds of millions awarded for Hurricane Matthew relief inexplicably remaining undistributed.
“[…] Among the various entities administering disaster recovery funds for Matthew, CDBG-DR funds have been distributed in the least timely manner,” the PED report found. Specifically, the report listed these points as being causes of the delay:
1. Non-compliant contracts for implementing CDBG-DR, which resulted in the State spending approximately $3.7 million unnecessarily;
2. Limited institutional knowledge within state government for implementing CDBG-DR; and
3. Program design issues and changes in implementation strategies.
WBTV has previously reported on various issues with contracts awarded to administer disaster recovery funds.
On the same day the PED report was released, WBTV confirmed the HUD OIG was in North Carolina to conduct a review of the state’s CDBG-DR recovery efforts, which are now managed by the Office of Recovery and Resiliency.
It was not clear what the scope of the OIG’s review was, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the inquiry, who spoke with WBTV on the condition they not be named to discuss ongoing and sensitive matters.
A spokesman for the HUD OIG did not immediately respond to a request for comment.[…]”
The most recent PED report from the state investigators is pretty damning, and will only serve to frustrate those still hanging in the wind two hurricanes later. WBTV’s reporting details the programs in question and the utter bureaucratic failures involved in holding up these relief funds.
The issue is bound to follow Cooper on the campaign trail in Eastern and Central North Carolina, especially. Although, the executive branch won’t face as much public outcry as it should for their incompetence. Beyond WBTV’s deep dives on the Cooper incompetence, most of the Democrat friendly media won’t spend that much time on it.
Imagine, however, if a Republican were at the helm under similar circumstances. He’d be crucified by the media as the Left turned the volume up to eleven about a callous governor unconcerned with the suffering of low-income minorities.
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