Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
Federal audit questions City of Atlanta's use of $400,000 in crime fighting grants
Atlanta neighborhood in federal Weed and Seed program
ATLANTA - On Monday our Waste Watchers team told you about a federal audit that claimed Atlanta may have misspent as much as $400,000 of $1-Million in federal crime fighting grants.
Tuesday morning, Mayor Kasim Reed responded to our questions about the audit.
Several times he pointed out most of the questionable spending did not happen on his watch.
"The events occurred, the overwhelming majority of them, before we ever took office," Reed said, pointing out he became mayor in January of 2010 and the audit covered the period from 2007 to 2010.
The U.S. Justice Department audit looked into how the city spent grants for the Weed and Seed program designed to help reduce crime in the Mechanicsville and Pittsburgh neighborhoods.
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Reed admitted the city may not be able to justify how it spent about $73,000 of the nearly $400,000 in question, but disputed the rest.
"We disagree with the findings of the amount owed," he said.
He also insisted the city not only met the overall goal of the program, but exceeded it.
"The purpose of the Weed and Seed initiative was to push crime down in those communities by 5%; we've pushed down crime in those communities by 40%, which is why we no longer have the program," the mayor added.
Reed claimed it isn't easy finding all the documents the federal government wants going back to 2007.
But he said the finance department is working on it and he will let us know the outcome.