Pa. Auditor General to audit DNC Host Committee grant

May 18, 2017

By Staff

State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced Thursday that his office will be auditing the $10 million grant the state gave to the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee to help organize last year’s Democratic National Convention.

The audit was requested by Gov. Wolf and state Republicans this week following reports by the Inquirer and Daily news that the host committee used surplus money to pay committee staffers nearly $1 million in bonuses.

DePasquale said he will be looking at whether the grant was appropriately authorized, whether the expenditures matched the grant agreement and whether any of the state money “co-mingled” with other private dollars.

“I only get to audit the $10 million… If there is co-mingling of funds that changes the ballgame,” DePasquale said in an interview, noting that only then could he audit the entire set of books of the host committee.

Committee officials have said that the state money— the largest single donation to the effort that raised $86 million— was not mixed with any private dollars. The committee hired JT Goldstein, a local accounting firm, to audit the grant, per state rules. The 10-page audit said that the money was spent appropriately (on venue licensing and construction costs) within nine days of receipt.

Senate Republican leaders said Monday they were skeptical of the audit and wanted the auditor general to review the matter.

DePasquale said he has spoken to former Gov. Ed Rendell, who served as chairman of the host committee. “He has agreed to fully cooperate,” DePasquale said.

DePasquale is a Democrat who participated as a delegate in last year’s convention. He said his party affiliation wouldn’t interfere with his review.

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