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No Misuse? Then Why a Formal Settlement?

On Monday, July 10, we growled after reading that morning’s Washington Post story detailing the county’s “misuse” of federal dollars. At Tuesday’s recessed Arlington County Board meeting, the Arlington Sun-Gazette reports that top county officials “blamed the federal government, state government and local news media for leaving the impression that the Arlington County government has mishandled federal social-service funds.”

The Sun-Gazette quoted the County Manager saying: “There are no allegations of misuse . . . (adding that) “Arlington government was a victim of different interpretations of the rules.” If there were no misuse of federal funds, then why does an “information sheet” provided by county personnel state there was a “legal settlement” between the state and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services “resulting from disallowance of over $50M from improper claims for reimbursement of Title IV-E funds?”

The Sun-Gazette also noted that this was the second time this year that the county has run afoul of the federal government. Where’s the accountability? Is it possible Arlington has too many $100,000 poohbahs?