Hartford Officials Probe Transfer of Ineligible Funds - NBC Connecticut

Hartford Officials Probe Transfer of Ineligible Funds



    City Treasurer revealed money approved for borrowing would have been illegal. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013)

    At a Tuesday night meeting with Hartford council members, the city's treasurer shared how a major problem had been narrowly avoided.

    "The benefit here is because we caught this process before dollars were expended," said Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud.

    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. But it's uncertain whether the improper maneuver was made knowingly or was an oversight.

    CIP eligible items include such things as the purchase of vehicles. Ineligible items include things like first aid kits, uniforms, and elevator and vehicle maintenance.

    "I don't know why there's a problem now, and that's really concerning to me because they should have been truthful from the beginning to me," said council member Raul DeJesus, Jr.

    DeJesus says he confronted the city's treasurer and administration when he realized items were ineligible to be bonded out months ago but says he was told it was ok.

    "Deception it seems like may have played into it because it's probably a sign of desperation. When you have a $70 million gap to fill, you have to put a lot of filler in there," said DeJesus.

    "I don't want to have the council get the impression that we were trying to do anything that was inappropriate," said Jose Sanchez, Director of Management, Budget and Grants, during the meeting.

    The treasurer says his office was never given a full list of the items to determine if they were able to be capitalized. It's a change he says he would like to see made in the future.

    "Encourage the administration to utilize my office as a resource," said Cloud, "to ensure this doesn't happen."