The Department of the Treasury opens an investigation against the governor of Florida for migrant flights

The Department Of The Treasury Opens An Investigation Against The Governor Of Florida For Migrant Flights

Washington – The Treasury Department’s internal watchdog has launched an investigation into whether Florida Governor Ron DeSantis improperly used federal pandemic aid to airlift migrants to Martha’s Vineyard as part of his strategy to “fly illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations.

The investigation revolves around whether millions of dollars in interest derived from the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, disbursed through the American Rescue Plan, were used to facilitate the transfer of some 50 Venezuelans from Texas to Massachusetts, with a stopover in Florida, mid-September.

The recovery fund program has strict requirements on how the money can be used. According to the documents, Florida officials paid Vertol Systems Co., a Destin, Florida-based company, $1.56 million for the flight to Martha’s Vineyard and possibly for a missed flight to Delaware, the president’s home state. Joe Biden.


The inspector general’s office plans an audit of “recipients’ compliance with eligible use guidelines,” Treasury Deputy Inspector General Richard K. Delmar said in a letter to U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat. who requested the investigation.

“We plan to carry out this work as quickly as possible, consistent with meeting our other control requirements and priorities,” the letter said. The Treasury Department does not have a confirmed inspector general.

Taryn Fenske, a spokeswoman for DeSantis, said Wednesday that the Florida Office of Policy and Budget has “advised the Treasury inspector general’s office that our use of this interest, as appropriated by the Florida legislature, is permissible.” .

“Reviews by Treasury are typical and, as the inspector general’s office noted, are ‘part of its oversight responsibilities,’” Fenske added.

Markey wrote to the inspector general’s office in September, shortly after DeSantis arranged the trip, which received enormous attention. The governor of Florida assured that the migrants traveled voluntarily to Massachusetts.

“The use of federal COVID relief funds in this way contradicts the intent of Congress and appears to violate federal law,” Markey and six other Massachusetts lawmakers wrote in their Sept. 17 letter to Delmar. Markey said DeSantis “was actually using COVID-19 aid to score political points by exploiting vulnerable immigrants.”

The White House has called the trip to Martha’s Vineyard a “cruel and premeditated political stunt.”

Delmar did not say when the investigation would be completed. Other law enforcement agencies around the country have also launched investigations into migrant trips organized by Republican lawmakers to Democratic strongholds.

The incident has also resulted in an investigation by Texas county police and two lawsuits. The Treasury Department referred all questions to the inspector general’s office, which did not respond to a request for comment.



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