Little Or No Consequences for Detroit Land Bank Billing Scam [Michigan Capitol Confidential]: "Improprieties at the Detroit Land Bank Authority cost taxpayers over $824,000.
Though they have been the subject of an audit and continue to be the focus of a federal criminal investigation, only one employee has experienced any consequences.
That individual, a manager at a program overseeing the demolition of buildings in Detroit, was transferred to another job and took a pay cut of $15,000.
The authority was created to package and sell abandoned and tax-foreclosed properties owned by the city.
It receives federal funds meant for blight removal and is the subject of a federal investigation due to rising demolition costs and questions regarding contracts with private vendors.
A grant compliance officer for the demolition program was transferred to another project in mid-October, just weeks before the organization released an internal audit, according to documents obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request.
Martha Delgado, the compliance manager for the land bank's demolition work, oversaw the federal grant that supplied the city with over $250 million.
Delgado’s pay was reduced from $85,000 to $70,000 as she was transferred to a new role as an administrator for a program dubbed “Rehabbed and Ready,” intended to refurbish and market properties.
She is also a retired city administrator.
Her employer released an audit in October that discovered improper billing had cost the state $824,491 that the city has to repay, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The federal program had a cap of $25,000 per demolition.
To get around the cap, some contractors shifted costs from more difficult and costly jobs to simpler and cheaper ones.
In the case of two contracts, $78,239 was shifted between several properties to stay under the capped amount..."