FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 5, 2003
CONTACT: Stan Barrett, Director, Housing and Community Development, (816) 513-3000
City to audit Black Economic Union
The City of Kansas City, Mo., is taking steps to ensure that City funding provided to the Black Economic Union of Greater Kansas City is being used appropriately.
The Black Economic Union, a non-profit corporation, will receive about $741,054 this fiscal year in City funding. The funds are used for housing development in partnership with Bank America Community Development Corporation, administrative costs, and economic development programs funded with Community Development Block Grant dollars.
The City is taking these steps in light of the recent guilty plea on theft charges by the former executive director of the BEU.
Stan Barrett, Director of the City’s Department of Housing and Community Development, said, “From the initial investigation, there is no indication that any of the City funded programs were involved in the theft activities.”
Barrett said the City will take the following actions:
The Department of Housing and Community Development will retain the services of a certified public accountant to perform program audits of all of the Community Development Block Grant programs and Minority Business Opportunity Committee programs for June 1, 2000 through May 31, 2003.
The City’s housing lender, Housing and Economic Development Financial Corporation, will perform a Management Economic Evaluation of the Martin Luther King Village and Basie Court multi-family projects of which BEU is the general partner. A financial audit also will be performed on the Wheatley House, an elderly, multi-family development.
The City will closely monitor the BEU’s operations. As required by contract, the BEU’s regular organization-wide audit for Jan. 1, 2002 to Dec. 31, 2002 will be submitted to the City this month. This organization-wide audit has been completed by their auditor and reviewed by the BEU Board of Directors.
Barrett said he expects all of the audits to be completed within 60 days.