State wants more money from Tampa workforce agency

Aug 31, 2011

The following article was published in the Tampa Tribune on August 31, 2011:

State wants more money from Tampa workforce agency

By Steve Andrews

The state isn’t satisfied with a judge’s recommendation that the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance repay $55,192 and wants more money.

The state agency that oversees the workforce alliance — Florida’s Agency for Workforce Innovation — filed an exception on Monday to an administrative law judge’s order. The state agency said the Tampa Bay alliance should repay $125,258.

“We are unable to discuss this case, as it is in litigation,” Robby Cunningham, spokesman for the state agency, wrote in an e-mail.

The state agency’s Inspector General delved into the Tampa Bay agency’s expenditures in November 2009 following an 8 On Your Side investigation that revealed the local nonprofit spent thousands of taxpayer money on food, parties and entertainment.

The Tampa Bay agency receives millions of federal dollars to help the jobless find work and retrain the unemployed for new positions.

The inspector general’s investigation found the alliance spent $147,000 on unallowable expenses.

According to Cunningham, the Agency for Workforce Innovation will review the case and write up the final order.  If the Tampa Bay agency objects to the order, it can take the case to a District Court of Appeal.

Alliance officials could not be reached for comment.

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