Chicago Inspector General’s Office Assumes Control of Investigation of Mismanagement of City Funds at AIDS Organization
The Chicago Inspector General's office has assumed control of the investigation into funding for HIV/AIDS outreach programs at the Minority Outreach Intervention Project, which received $80,000 in funds to conduct programs targeted at Latinos, the Chicago Free Press reports (Barlow, Chicago Free Press, 9/18). The investigation, which was previously being conducted by the Chicago Department of Public Health, is looking into allegations that MOIP mismanaged the money and defrauded the agency. The investigation was spurred by allegations from former MOIP employee Richard Santana that Brandon Armani, the group's executive director, mismanaged the group's programs and forged attendance records from events to "justify" the grant money. Armani has denied the charges, saying that Santana provided him with the attendance sheets and that he, or someone else, forged the signatures. However, several other former MOIP employees who were "forced to leave" the group after they urged leaders to direct more resources to Latino AIDS programs said that they could confirm Santana's allegations (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/13). The shift of the investigation from the public health department to the inspector general's office indicates that the charges may eventually entail prosecution. The city could also order MOIP to refund the $80,000 in grant money to the health department. Santana said he hopes the investigation will lead to reforms at MOIP and improvements in HIV/AIDS programs for Chicago Latinos (Chicago Free Press, 9/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.