- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 4, 2014

Welfare recipients in Colorado used taxpayer dollars to illegally purchase $500,000 worth of alcohol over the past two years.

The Colorado Department of Human Services, which manages the welfare program, knew about the withdrawals but has not punished recipients who violate the law or blocked the use of cards at casino and liquor store ATMs, Colorado Watchdog, a non-profit organization that focuses on government transparency, reported Thursday.

The report concludes that welfare recipients withdrew about $340,000 at liquor store ATMs and another $149,000 at casinos.

Liquor license holders and casino owners are not required to monitor customers who use their ATMs but the state is required to prohibit the illegal transactions.

Watchdog.org reported that the CDHS provided a letter with the database CD that shows state staff were aware of the withdrawal violations.

State Rep. Tim Dore said the CDHS is “thumbing their nose” at taxpayers.

“They say, ‘We aren’t going to enforce it and make sure the cards are used for intended purpose — to make sure there is food on the table,’” Mr. Dore said.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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