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Watchdog: Follow the Money

New Orleans in the habit of wasting FEMA funds from Hurricane Katrina

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Watchdog,Watchdog Blog,Homeland Security,Louisiana,Kelly Cohen,Waste and Fraud,Follow the Money,FEMA

More than $1 million in Hurricane Katrina-related funds given to the Audubon Commission should be returned to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security inspector general.

The commission, which is part of the New Orleans city government and oversees museum and park facilities, received $12.3 million from FEMA to deal with damage from the 2005 hurricane.

The funds repaid the commission for work it did on more than 80 projects damaged by the hurricane, such as the Audubon Park and Audubon Zoo.

The $1.7 million FEMA wants back comes from labor costs for debris removal, unallocated insurance, funds simply never used and money wrongfully doled out because of an accounting error, according to the Aug. 22 IG report.

The Audubon Commission was given 90 days to respond.

In February, the IG found that FEMA should also give back $7.6 million that was given to rebuild the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center. The same report showed 20 projects funded by with $6.9 million in grants had not yet begun construction -- almost seven years after the hurricane.

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Author:

Kelly Cohen

Staff Writer
The Washington Examiner