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August 17, 09

NEWS / Consortium of 49 Massachusetts Law Enforcement Agencies to Pay U.S. $200,000 for Alleged False Claim


WASHINGTON – The North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) will pay the United States $200,000 to settle allegations that it made false claims related to the use of Justice Department grant funds. Based in Boston, NEMLEC is a non-profit corporation and a law enforcement council. It is comprised of a consortium of 47 police departments in Middlesex and Essex Counties, as well as two county sheriff’s departments.

The settlement relates to NEMLEC’s 2003 certifications that it used the grant funds from the Department of Justice for approved purposes. The Justice Department awarded these funds to NEMLEC in 2001 and 2002 for the "School Threat Assessment and Response System" (STARS) program.

According to the consortium’s Web site, NEMLEC created and implemented STARS in 1999 to assist the region’s over 500 schools in enhancing school safety, preventing threats and violence in schools, and ensuring that the schools were prepared to identify, assess, and respond to threats and emergencies. An investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General concluded that NEMLEC had not properly accounted for several hundred thousand dollars of grant funds.

"The Civil Division plays a critical role in protecting taxpayer funds," said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. "With the Justice Department making significant grants to local law enforcement agencies, we will continue to ensure that all of the funds are spent only on the projects for which they were intended."

The Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention provided the funds at issue to NEMLEC through the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Grant Program. The Byrne Formula Grant Program is a partnership among federal, state, and local governments to create safer communities.

http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2009/August/09-civ-808.html

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