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How Did Sheriffs Waste So Much Taxpayer Money In One Town?

A government oversight report released Thursday revealed that a sheriff’s association in Colorado has misspent as much as $688,587 of taxpayer money awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. Money that was supposed to help victims was misused, misspent and wasted.

The report says much of the spending by the County Sheriffs of Colorado was on “unallowable” things like meals, promotional items, excess compensation and questionable overhead charges. The report also pointed out that the CSOC often did a poor job of keeping records, saying that $925,000 in expenses was not even put into the accounting system.

When the CSOC did keep records, they often didn’t match with federal records.

The grant came from the Office of Justice Programs, an agency under the DOJ. The OJP awarded $1,499,360 to the CSOC in a Littleton, Colo., to implement a system that would track jailed offenders and notify victims if there is change in the offender’s status.

The County Sheriffs of Colorado pled ignorance on many of the criticisms in the report.

“As you can tell, there were a lot of errors that CSOC did in reporting on both of these grants, but without a lot of instruction and training, we did the best we could do,” the group’s leaders said in a joint response letter.

The report also criticized the CSOC for paying questionable invoices with little concern for the cost or that it was a fair billing. They also came under fire for “inadequate” tracking of the effectiveness of their efforts.

The OJP and CSOC has promised to work to rectify the problems.

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