- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A former FBI special agent is accusing the Justice Department of unfairly conducting a federal audit that found his risk management firm spent more than $16,000 of a $375,000 tribal youth program cooperative agreement on questionable items.

Walter Lamar, president of Lamar Associates, said the audit of the agreement his firm maintained with Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is a prime example of “bureaucratic lapse.”

The audit, conducted by the department’s inspector general, shows that the one-time Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Law Enforcement Deputy Director mishandled a 2010 financial award that was supposed to foster training and outreach to tribal youth in support of the Department of Justice 2011 Tribal Youth Summit.

Officials found that Lamar Associates was missing more than $8,300 in receipts, racked up more than $7,100 in unapproved expenses, misappropriated more than $800 for expensive hotel rooms, misspent about $600 on hiring contractors and could not account for a $407 contract agreement, according to a 26-page report made public Wednesday.

But Mr. Lamar maintains that the audit was conducted in the “ninth hour,” which accounts for its findings. In an April 24 letter to David Sheeren, a regional audit manager for the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General, Mr. Lamar blasted the negative impact on the department and his company, bemoaning the $6,000 he spent to comply with the audit.

“As a former FBI Special Agent and retired federal law enforcement executive, I am fully supportive of the accountability and transparency served by inspections, audits and reviews,” he said in the letter. “That said, I am extremely dismayed that this particular audit came near the conclusion of this grant period at significant cost to our small 100 percent Native owned company. I cannot believe that any reasonable person would see this audit process as fair in any sense of the word.”

Paper records and external hard drives that have been sitting in storage can account for the more than $8,300 in missing receipts and will be made available to officials before the end of June, Mr. Lamar said. Other expenditures that the Justice Department categorized as “questionable” can also be explained, he said.

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