Philly city controller: Grant for pet adoption center misspent

The money has been partially repaid, City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart said, but the adoption center still has not been built and auditors found other issues. (Nathaniel Hamilton for WHYY)

The money has been partially repaid, City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart said, but the adoption center still has not been built and auditors found other issues. (Nathaniel Hamilton for WHYY)

Philadelphia’s city controller says the Animal Control and Care Team misspent a $1 million grant from PETCO.

The money was supposed to go toward building a new pet adoption center. Instead, City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart said some of the money was spent on salaries.

“The grant money, 750 thousand of the million dollars to build this adoption center and according to the grant terms the money was supposed to go into a segregated account, but only a portion of those funds went into a segregated account and the money has been used to cover payroll and other operating expenses,” she said.

While the controller’s office did not detect any fraud, “ACCT definitely violated the terms of its grant and did misuse some of the grant fund for purposes including payroll,” she said.

The money has been partially repaid, Rhynhart said, but the adoption center still has not been built and auditors found other issues.

“We found payments going out for relocation of new employees, including four thousand dollars for a new employee who never relocated and the money was never repaid to ACCT,” she said.

A day after receiving the controller’s report, Mayor Jim Kenney declined to comment and said his office is trying to get to the bottom of the dispute.

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