ALBANY, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – On September 1st, the United States Department of Justice Northern District of New York announced the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) is required to pay $500,000 in restitution after employees of a “former New York State Governor” falsely claimed to be part of a federal water-quality improvement grant.
“The Environmental Facilities Corporation falsely certified that employees were supporting a clean water grant when they were working directly for former Governors in unrelated positions. I am pleased that the current EFC leadership was willing to admit what happened, resolve EFC’s liability, and implement new compliance measures that should ensure ethical and legal behavior in the future.” – United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman
During their settlement agreement, the EFC admitted that on eight occasions, former senior officials withheld the fact that they were hired by, and worked for, the Executive Chamber, which caused the state to file incorrect salaries and benefits information when requesting funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The EFC claims that when they learned about the federal investigation, they quickly took action to make sure that all employees who are listed as EFC staff in the CWSRF documentation that was submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), worked at EFC in positions related to those grants. Furthermore, the agency has stated that it has implemented internal safeguards at the management level to ensure these problems will never happen within the EFC again in the future.
“EFC knowingly submitted false information to EPA, resulting in the state accessing federal funds for unintended purposes. This settlement is an example of EPA OIG’s commitment to ensuring that all EPA grant administrators, including state actors, are held accountable when dealing with taxpayer funds so that the public can have confidence in the integrity of vital programs like the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.” – Special Agent in Charge Nic Evans of EPA’s Office of Inspector General