Federal auditors want MEMA to pay back nearly $18 million - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Federal auditors want MEMA to pay back nearly $18 million

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JACKSON, MS. (AP) - Federal auditors say the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency misspent nearly $18 million in Hurricane Katrina reconstruction grants and the money should be paid back.

The bill includes money spent to manage grants and overpayments to local governments, mainly for removing debris.

The report, released earlier this month, was produced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General.

It says most of the suspect accounting charges came from overpaying for document preparation.

MEMA officials disagree with the reports' findings and director Mike Womack says the report is an example of what is wrong with the way the federal government helps states rebuild after a disaster.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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