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October 20, 2009

DC Officials to Investigate Misspent HIV/AIDS Funds

A 10-month Washington Post investigation published this week found that Washington, DC’s HIV/AIDS Administration has given $25 million over the past few years to small nonprofit organizations that may have misspent the funding. Now, the newspaper reports, city officials will investigate those groups and how they have spent the money.

According to the Post investigation, one of every three dollars for HIV/AIDS programs went to groups with histories of questionable spending, lack of clients and poor record-keeping, among other problems.

In one case, more than $500,000 was given to a housing program whose executive director had been convicted for theft, drugs and forgery. The inspector general found no evidence that the director was providing HIV/AIDS services.

“Blame me as the mayor of the District of Columbia,” said Mayor Adrian Fenty on October 19. “We probably did not move fast enough to get at some of those inexcusable management deficiencies.”

During a news conference on Monday, Fenty added that most of the questionable groups are no longer receiving funding from the city. He also said that the HIV/AIDS Administration has improved oversight of HIV/AIDS groups, ensuring that funding only goes to organizations with reputable track records.

“What you have seen is a complete systemic turnaround,” Fenty said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation of city AIDS funding in December 2006. The case remains active.

According to recent estimates, at least 3 percent of the city’s population is HIV positive.

Search: Washington, DC, Adrian Fenty, funding

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