A state audit issued today fully supports an accountant’s findings from a year ago that a Tacoma housing nonprofit misspent nearly $1.8 million of public funds for what was supposed to be a Hilltop-based business center that has never materialized.
The audit also for the first time cast some blame on the state’s Commerce Department — the agency that administered the state and federal grants to the Martin Luther King Housing Development Association — for failing to adequately monitor spending and creating the opportunity for the nonprofit to conduct further spending abuses.
“We agree with the CPA’s findings and determined the nonprofit used $1.8 million in state and federal grant funds to pay off other loans and to offset operational costs not related to the grants,” said a summary of the report issued today by State Auditor Brian Sonntag’s office.
The audit’s results come more than a year after the Department of Commerce hired an accountant to review state and federal grants spent by the MLK housing group after The News Tribune began detailing widespread financial problems at the agency in 2009.
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