Problems arose with the usually smooth transaction when, on Mar. 4, DHS conducted a monitoring visit to the city “to ensure that the sub-award is used for authorized purposes.” Such visits are not uncommon, as DHS and other federal departments are known to follow-up with projects and check compliance.

However, after their visit, DHS Director Michael Todorovich issued an email stating, “The monitoring resulted in several areas of noncompliance with federal regulation. These areas of noncompliance were communicated to the City of Lewisburg in the form of a Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP.)” The email states that the city was given a deadline of Apr. 30 to respond to the plan. After DHS received no response by that deadline, Todorovich said the funds would have to be repaid by July 31, and also directed that all mitigation grant projects be suspended. If the city did not respond by July 31, DHS would “have no choice but to begin disbarment proceedings… which would result in the city being ineligible for federal grant monies in the future.”

At that point, a week before the deadline, a West Virginia Daily News reporter contacted Lewisburg City Administrator…

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