KINGSTON, RI (WPRI) - While one state agency was auditing a $575,000 grant given to the Institute for International Sport, another state department was approving yet another grant for the Kingston non-profit.
Target 12 has learned that on more than one occasion the paths between the two processes were days from crossing before another allotment of taxpayer money was granted and spent.
"My first contact with Institute was in early September 2011," interim Auditor General Dennis Hoyle said in an email. "And I had the first meeting at the Institute towards the end of that month."
Between those two time frames, on September 15, Director of Administration Richard Licht signed the most recent state community service grant for $157,500 for the IIS. Licht said he was not aware of the pending audit when he signed but knowing about it might not have changed anything.
"The mere fact that there's going to be an audit, in and of itself doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong," Licht said.
Litch did not find out about the audit until a month later.
"I notified Richard Licht of the audit on October 14 via email," Hoyle said.
Two days before that email about the audit, the most recent of 33 state grants that totaled $7.3 million was paid to the Institute.
Licht said getting the money back was not an option.
"Once the check is out the door, no. I would've had to know about it when it was given out two days before. I was not informed when the check was sent."
AUDIT VS. GRANT TIMELINE
- Early September - Hoyle's first contact with IIS
- September 15 - Licht signs grant
- October 12 - IIS paid $157,500
- October 14 - Hoyle emails Licht about audiit
- February - Completed audit
One week after the email to Licht, Hoyle requested additional information from the Institute and the audit was released in February, showing that IIS Executive Director Dan Doyle could account for less than a fourth of the 2007 grant for $575,000.
Licht told Target 12, the state is working on tightening controls on all legislative grants to create more accountability for how taxpayer money is spent.
The 2011 grant agreement also includes a purported signature by a man named Michael Healy. Healy has since said he never signed the document which listed him as the IIS Board of Trustees Chairman. Healy said he never held that position and had only a casual involvement with the Institute.
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