Drug prevention grants spent on petting zoos, fairs

Millions of dollars worth of drug and alcohol prevention grants each year have been funding completely off-task programs such as petting zoos, according to a new state audit.

Comptroller Matthew Boxer?s audit found the Governor?s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse has been awarding grants with little oversight. According to the audit, the agency did not require receipts for reimbursement. In at least one case, a group was reimbursed for $97,000 in spending without any explanation to what was bought.

In addition to $2,500 for a petting zoo and pony rides, the audit shows grant money has been spent on such random items as fair?s fun house and another agency?s $2,700 rent.

The Governor?s Council has been in existence for 19 years, but this is the first time the agency has been audited. Boxer says he?s not sure there?s any reason for the agency to exist any longer.

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