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Weather service money shifting problems hit agency

- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 29, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) - The head of the National Weather Service has suddenly retired and the agency is seeking an emergency $35.6 million from Congress because of allegations of financial mismanagement and money shifting within the agency.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco, who oversees the weather service, said in a memo investigators found that agency officials moved tens of millions of dollars around without congressional approval, as required by law. The money went from being appropriated for technology improvements to meeting shortfalls in payroll and operations at local weather offices.

Weather service director Jack Hayes retired Friday. His chief financial officer was already on administrative leave.

Agency spokesman Scott Smullen said investigators found no evidence of corruption or personal financial gain. The agency will soon release a report on the issue.

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