Maine DHHS misspent funds, but will likely not face penalty
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Department of Health and Human Services unlawfully spent over $13 million in federal funds in 2015 and 2016, but is unlikely to face a penalty for the misuse.
DHHS spent $13.4 million in welfare funds on services for elderly and disabled Maine residents. The Bangor Daily News reports federal law requires states to use money on programs for low-income families with children.
A 2016 report by State Auditor Pola Buckley highlighted the “improper management” of federal funds. Federal officials are currently reviewing the audit report. Maine DHHS is unlikely to face a penalty as it reversed its unlawful spending and retroactively returned the funding, meeting a 2016 deadline to return the funds.
DHHS has maintained it misspend the funds due to department officials being unclear on federal rules.
Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangordailynews.com