Black leaders join GOP in call for wider audit of state COVID money
Connecticut received more than $1 billion in Cares Act money when COVID-19 first hit. Now, there are new questions about how that money was spent.
Republicans have been focusing on this issue for weeks and now some Democrats want Gov. Ned Lamont to order a wider audit of COVID-19 relief spending.
Black community activists joined GOP leaders at the state Capitol Thursday morning after two officials in West Haven were charged with stealing $636,000 in COVID-19 funds.
"We have a common interest in assuring that every Connecticut community, including Black and brown communities, receives their fair share of COVID-19 monies," said former Hartford City Councilmember Cynthia Jennings.
An outside audit is already looking into how towns spent their money, but Republicans want to audit the Lamont administration too. The governor says he's open to the idea.
"We have the state auditors who take a look at our numbers as well, keeping a close eye on how those numbers are going. And maybe another set of eyes to look at that would be fine by me," said Lamont.
After the arrest of the two West Haven officials, Gov. Lamont hired an outside firm to audit every town in the state. They want an itemized list of all spending. Was each item necessary to battle COVID, and was each expenditure allowed under federal rules?
But critics want the probe expanded to include the governor's office itself.
"Who is deciding how it's being dispersed? Because it sure wasn't me. Because nobody invited me to the party, because I'd have come," said former GOP Legislative candidate Rev. Ernestine Holloway.
Every dollar that the state of Connecticut has distributed so far is available online.