HARRISBURG – Rep. Bud Cook (R-Washington/Fayette) announced today that Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has confirmed the receipt of his formal request for an audit of the Washington County casino gaming Local Share Account grant program (LSA). Cook also indicated that his office will be providing the auditor general with additional information as requested.
“I’d like to be crystal clear about my objectives regarding the request made to the auditor general,” said Cook. “This is not about taking away LSA grants, but rather assuring that the current LSA grant process is fair, transparent and accountable! We will also be visiting local borough and township leaders that have requested more information about the LSA audit and/or who have concerns with my proposed legislation to address the lack of action to resolve these concerns.”
Cook reiterated that his primary reasons (listed below) for requesting this audit have not changed:
• To my knowledge, the LSA grant program does not require or maintain adequate voting records or meeting minutes regarding how the review committee votes, deliberates and/or discusses why they support and/or reject applicants or their respective funding requests.”
• To my knowledge, the LSA Grant Program Review Committee members do not complete an ethics statement regarding potential conflicts of interest with grant awards that could benefit a group, organization or business from which they directly and/or indirectly could benefit.
• To my knowledge, the LSA Grant Review Committee has numerous individuals who serve on the committee annually for many years.
“Until these issues are addressed, major concerns will remain regarding conflicts of interest, special interest earmarking of funds and insider deliberation of projects in advance of the grant presentations,” said Cook. “We owe it to the taxpayers we represent to ensure that LSA funding is allocated with integrity, transparency, and above all, that projects are funded based upon their value to our communities and the opportunities to improve the quality of life for all. If not, we will never be able to put Progress ahead of Politics!”
49th Legislative District
Representative Bud Cook
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: (724) 669-2242