DeKalb misspent federal jobs money, report says

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DeKalb misspent federal jobs money, report says

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JOHN SPINK / AJC/JOHN SPINK / AJC
DeKalb County’s government might not have been eligible for the $150,000 it collected from the federal government to hire 34 firefighters, according to a report by DeKalb Ethics Officer Stacey Kalberman. In this July 11 photo, DeKalb firefighters combat a massive fire that tore through part of an apartment building and displaced 19 people along Shallowford Road. JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM.

DeKalb County’s government allegedly misspent federal money designated for hiring unemployed or underpaid applicants when it recruited 34 candidates for firefighting jobs, according to a report by DeKalb Ethics Officer Stacey Kalberman.

Most of the newly hired firefighters were already working when they applied to DeKalb in 2014, and some of them were even employed as firefighters in other counties, the report says.

The county received $150,000 to supplement the firefighters’ pay through the U.S. Department of Labor’s on-the-job training initiative, which funds half of their salary costs for their first 90 days on the job.

WorkSource DeKalb Director Sheryl Stone responded that Kalberman’s allegations are “patently false” and based on misunderstandings of the on-the-job training program’s eligibility rules. 

Her department had listed all 34 firefighters as qualifying for the funding in part because they needed a “skills upgrade,” even when they had previously worked for other fire departments in Georgia.

Exclusive to subscribers: Read the full story about DeKalb’s jobs program spending on myAJC.com.

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