A watchdog group with the U.S. Treasury Department plans to examine whether Florida government properly used federal pandemic recovery money in connection to last month’s efforts to relocate migrants, a top official with the agency told the Massachusetts congressional delegation last week.
In a letter dated Oct. 7, Richard Delmar, the Treasury Department’s deputy inspector general, wrote that his department plans “to get this work underway as quickly as possible,” as part of its broader oversight of Florida’s use of funds allocated by the American Rescue Plan Act last year.
Delmar was responding to a written request from members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, who last month called on the department to investigate what the lawmakers deemed a misuse of pandemic relief money.
In September, a relocation program authorized by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis transported almost 50 migrants from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, by airplane, setting off a national firestorm over the increase of people arriving at the country’s southern border and whether the Republican governor was using human beings as political pawns.
The $12 million migrants relocation program authorized by the state Legislature was paid for by interest earned from federal COVID-19 relief money.