The County Executive says citizens should know how much the program costs taxpayers.
Frederick, Maryland – County Executive Jan Gardner announced Monday that a third-party audit will be conducted on how the county’s money is being used in the Sheriff’s Office participation in the federal 287(g) program. “We do this with the knowledge that whatever the outcome, some will debate it,” Gardner said. “But we believe the answers to how much this program is costing local taxpayers should be answered.”
Gardner explained the audit in no way implies funds from the program have been mismanaged. “The goal is simply to get an independent answer to a question,” Gardner said. “And in this case that question is ‘how much local dollars are being expended related to this program.'”
The County Executive said 287(g) is a federal program, and the county can’t audit a federal program. But, she says, it can examine how the county’s money is spent on this program.
Gardner said the audit will take a few months to complete with no established time line yet established.
In addition to the audit, the council also announced a public meeting will be held between the County Council and the Sheriff regarding the 287 (g). . Council president M.C. Keegan-Ayer said the meeting will create a dialogue, allowing the council to ask questions and for the sheriff to explain the office’s involvement in the program. “There will be no public comment taken as this will be an informational meeting only and not a regular council meeting,” Keegan-Ayer said. “All questions and discussions will be between the sheriff and the members of the county council.”
The meeting with the Sheriff will be scheduled for the fall with an official date being announced later, Keegan-Ayer says.
By Timothy Young