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Feds open investigation into WV flood relief efforts

By JAKE ZUCKERMAN

Charleston Gazette-Mail

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia Mike Stuart

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In an unusually public reveal, a federal prosecutor announced Wednesday he opened an investigation into the state’s handling of millions of dollars in flood recovery funds provided by the federal government.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia Mike Stuart issued a news release Wednesday morning stating his office is probing the use of funds provided by both the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the wake of the deadly June 2016 flood.

Typically, Stuart does not comment on ongoing investigations. However, given the public controversies that have played out with RISE West Virginia and its snail-paced spending of $150 million from HUD, and criminal charges filed after the West Virginia State Auditor’s report on the City of Richwood’s use of FEMA dollars, Stuart said the public should know the federal government is giving the matter a thorough review.

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