Justice Dept. watching RNC security spending

Posted at 8:45 PM, May 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-05 20:45:26-04

U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz said his office will be closely watching how Cleveland city officials spend a $50 million grant for security during July's Republican National Convention.

Horowitz said auditors will be "watching closely" to see if there are legitimate needs for expenditures and will release detailed audits following conventions in both Cleveland and Philadelphia.

"Taxpayers have a right to know that the money was actually used for the purpose of the convention," said Horowitz.

An exclusive 5 On Your Side Investigation dug into similar spending at conventions in Tampa and Charlotte four years ago where we found tens of thousands of dollars were misappropriated.

According to guidelines issued by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Cleveland is required to "collect, maintain and provide data that measure the performance and effectiveness of activities under this award."

But when we began asking questions--the Mayor's Office declined comment and attempted to block a key interview to explain how it would comply with those requirements to prevent fraud and misappropriation of funds here.

Join Chief Investigator Ron Regan on Friday on NewsChannel 5 at 11 for his special investigation and the city's efforts to keep you in the dark.