Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 07/18/2012 12:22:08 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is performing an audit of the city’s use of federal grant dollars, the agency confirmed Wednesday.

“We do have an open audit,” said Tanya Schulze, regional inspector general for audit at HUD’s office in Los Angeles.

San Bernardino, like many other cities, participates in HUD’s community block grant program. The program is a means for cities to provide funding to myriad city projects or to local nonprofits.

In San Bernardino, CDBG funding has been used for such projects as the East Side Skate Park or passed along to nonprofits like the Time for Change Foundation, which shelters homeless women.

San Bernardino officials, including Acting City Manager Andrea Travis-Miller and City Attorney James F. Penman, also confirmed the audit, but refrained from discussing any details.

Miller said the city employee who has been in contact with HUD is Brendan Mims, a project manager working in the City Manager’s Office. Mims was out of the office due to illness Wednesday.

Schulze likewise said she could not provide extensive details, but said the department’s Office of Inspector General opened an audit of San Bernardino on July 9.

That’s one day before the City Council instructed city staffers to prepare a Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing. The City council voted 5 to 2 Wednesday night to seek bankruptcy protection. The HUD audit was not a subject of public discussions at the meeting.

Schulze said the audit was not prompted by news of San Bernardino’s move toward bankruptcy. She described the audit as a routine matter and declined to say if any suspicion of irregularities preceded the audit.

San Bernardino faces an estimated $45million deficit and is projected to be more than $5million in the red at the end of this month.

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