- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association says it’s returning nearly $17,000 to an anti-crime advisory body after auditors found a former employee seemed to inflate fees beyond what the government will pay.

A report released Wednesday by State Auditor Beth Wood’s office says the North Carolina Crime Commission could have used the grant money it overpaid for other projects benefiting the state.

Auditors say the problem it uncovered happened more than four years ago, but it was investigating now after a hotline tip.

The report says a former employee of the non-profit Sheriffs’ Association inflated the number of hours on a consultant’s contract so that the hourly rate didn’t exceed what’s allowed under federal guidelines.

The association says it returned $16,800 to the Crime Commission earlier this month.

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