Earlier this year, the Inspector General charged that Hallandale Beach officials had “grossly mismanaged” millions of dollars in CRA funds. The office said it found at least $2.2 million in questionable expenditures between 2007 and 2012.
Mayor Joy Cooper challenged many of the county’s allegations. Asked to comment about the Inspector General’s new request for documents, she said the city “will respond accordingly.”
The Inspector General’s office asked the cities to produce:
• A copy of the ordinance that established the CRA Community Redevelopment Trust Fund. Hallandale Beach, for instance, did not have a separate fund for the first 16 years of the agency’s existence.
• Bank statements for the redevelopment trust fund accounts for the months of September and October for the years 2009-2012.
• The CRA’s general ledger account ending balances from 2009-2012
• Any and all CRA capital improvement plans for 2009-2012.
• Documentation for the disposition of all money remaining in the redevelopment trust fund at the end of fiscal year ending September 20, 2012 that was later used to reduce indebtedness for pledged funds.
• Records regarding all money deposited into escrow accounts from 2009-2012 for repayment of CRA debts.
Schnidman said the records that were sought indicate that the county’s agents are attempting to determine if the CRAs have complied with the requirements of state statute — 163.387(7) — regarding how tax increment trust fund balance amounts are to be treated at the end of the fiscal year.
“What the Inspector General is doing is he’s trying to figure out which of the county’s CRAs are in violation of the law and need to return all this money they’ve husbanded away,” said Schnidman. “It’s millions of dollars.”