Audit says La. may owe feds for misspent storm aid - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Audit says La. may owe feds for misspent storm aid

By LITTICE BACON-BLOOD
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A new audit says Louisiana may be on the hook to the federal government for more than $115 million in disaster relief aid that was misspent or awarded to ineligible recipients.

The money was designed to help property owners recover from hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

The legislative auditor's review of the Office of Community Development was released Monday. The Office of Community Development oversees the Road Home program, the Small Rental Property Loan Program and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

In a response letter, OCD executive director Patrick Forbes says his department is being aggressive in recovering money from suspected fraud cases or duplicated benefits, but homeowner recovery is prioritized over "recapture" in other instances.

He says federal officials support the strategy.

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