Cleveland Spent Federal RNC Security Grant Properly, Audit Finds

Police officers bicycle around Public Square at the Republican National Convention in 2016. Cleveland used grant funds to pay for officers' bikes. [Nick Castele / ideastream]

The Justice Department says Cleveland met the goals of a 2016 federal grant for security at the Republican National Convention, but could have better tracked vehicles bought with the money. 

The DOJ inspector general's office released its audit findings on the city's grant spending today. Read the full report here.

The city spent about $42 million out of an allowable $50 million in federal funds. Much of the money paid for insurance, equipment, and police overtime.

In a video posted online today, Inspector General Michael Horowitz said Cleveland administered the money appropriately. 

"Our report does not identify any concerns about Cleveland's financial management of the grant, the expenditures it made with the money or the accuracy of its federal financial reports," Horowitz said. 

The audit does say the city didn't properly keep records on vehicles it purchased.

"Although most items obtained with RNC grant funds were properly identified in Cleveland’s inventory system as being purchased with federal funds, we found that $3.2 million in automobiles were not identified as federally funded," the audit reads.

Cleveland has since fixed the problem, according to the report. 

In a statement released today, Mayor Frank Jackson thanked city workers and others who helped with the convention. 

"While the positive results of the Department of Justice audit may be a surprise to some, it was no surprise to the City of Cleveland," Jackson said.

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