- After superstorm Sandy ripped through New Jersey and destroyed tens of thousands of homes, the federal goverment sent $4.2 billion here for housing programs.
- The state hired a Louisiana company to help set up and run three key housing programs, but it was fired after less than nine months on the job.
- A federal government watchdog is now saying New Jersey should either prove the company it hired spent federal money appropriately or pay back up to $43.1 million.
- New Jersey disputes the audit's findings, saying all the money is accounted for and was spent properly.
A federal fiscal watchdog wants New Jersey to justify how a government contractor spent $43.1 million in Sandy aid or be compelled to pay the money back.
The demand comes in a report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Development's inspector general. It concerns the activities of a contractor the state parted ways with after only nine months on the job due to performance issues.
All told, HUD has given New Jersey a total of $4.2 billion to rebuild communities that were battered, soaked or otherwise ruined by superstorm Sandy in October 2012. Almost half of that money was obligated to the state in 2013...