Audit Shows Inappropriate Use of Hartford Bond Money

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    An internal audit says city leaders misused funds to balance Hartford's books. NBC Connecticut Troubleshooter Sabina Kuriakose broke the story Thursday.

    A probe into how the city of Hartford is using funds has revealed city officials inappropriately charged almost $1 million to Capital Improvement Project accounts.

    The 10-page audit released by the Hartford Audit Commission this afternoon says Hartford is “at risk of losing tax exempt status” for some bond money.

    The issues came to light during a meeting with Hartford City Council members in October, where it was revealed that $683,000 worth of line items of a $1.1 million shift from the general fund to capital improvement projects, or CIP, were ineligible for the move.

    At the time, they said it was uncertain whether the improper maneuver was made knowingly or was an oversight.

    According to the new report, there are several restrictions and requirements on the level of bond proceeds that can be used and how the loan transactions and program should be accounted for and administered.

    Because of those concerns, a special review was conducted to determine whether any other active city loan programs were being funded with bond proceeds.

    A review done of $1,116,471 that the Management and Budget Department and Finance Department management deemed to be potentially eligible for capitalization purposes revealed that $433,031 could be classified as capital expenses, according to the audit.