More fall-out from the impending state audit of the city of Gainesville

Published: Nov. 15, 2019 at 6:15 PM EST
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There is a possible internal investigation within the Department of Justice over funds issued to the city of Gainesville for an organization that may not have been real.

This was referenced in the state lawmakers staff analysis report presented to the auditing committee at the State Capitol.

In July, former city auditor Carlos Holt who was fired in June reported to the Department of Justice that the city of Gainesville was being issued grant money distributed to questionable recipients.

Holt claims that the city applied for grant money for an organization called the Gainesville Police Athletic League, which he says at the time didn't exist.

A records check of Florida corporations shows only a "The Police Athletic League of Gainesville, Incorporated" which was dissolved in 1984. A check of federal non-profit records found no such name.-- but checks made to Gainesville Police Athletic League were cashed.

" It wasn't registered anywhere. I'm not saying some people didn't call themselves that but it wasn't registered on Sunbiz, it wasn't registered as a 501c3, its wasn't a separate organization meaning where it had its own where they could apply for a grant on its own with its own numbers, it didn't exist outside of the police department or the city," said Carlos Holt, former city auditor.

Holt says the DOJ is now investigating their own internal actions in distributing the money to a questionable recipient.

However, he didn't find out where the money went before he was fired.

TV20 received a statement from the DOJ saying as a general matter the department does not confirm or deny the existence of an ongoing investigation.

And Mayor Poe would not comment on the Police Athletic League grant. As for the audit itself, he says his statement from earlier this week remains valid-- that the audit is politically motivated and that the city's books are open.

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