Roanoke City performing internal audit of Roanoke’s Gun Violence Prevention Commission

ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke’s Gun Violence Prevention Commission has received lots of criticism over how they handle city funds.

Now, the city is performing an internal audit on the commission.

Some questions city leaders are raising questions and concerns form how the commission awarded grants to certain non-profits and other faith-based organizations.

A spokesperson with the city says the audit is not connected to Tuesday night’s council meeting where concerns were raised. They say the audit was already scheduled ahead of Tuesday.

“It’s not a ‘gotcha’ kind of audit. It’s a, ‘Hey, this is what you didn’t do, this is what we need to do, and here are some recommendations,’” said Mayor Lea.

Both Mayor Lea and Councilwoman Stephanie Moon Reynolds are advocating for more oversight of the commission by city council.

“I think we need to go back and talk about the real role of the commission and if we cannot find that, I think it needs to be abolished,” said Moon Reynolds.

According to a city spokesperson, in 2021, the commission had a budget of $75,000.

In 2022, city leaders tell us the commission received two state grants, one for $500,000 and another for $25,000.

During 2022, the commission also received one million dollars from American Rescue Plan Funding.

Totaling just over $1.5 million for the year 2022.

10 News is told a deeper look at what the money has been spent on will be revealed in the audit.

“Who is getting the funding? Why are they getting the funding? What was the process? I’m glad that the chairman of the audit committee went to the auditor and said, ‘We need to audit this now,’” said Moon Reynolds.

One group Moon Reynolds is concerned about is an organization called, Better Agreements, LLC., who she says is not producing the kind of results that were expected.

“[I asked] can Better Agreements come to council and share what they are doing? Have they fulfilled any of the obligations that are set forth in our contract? I got nowhere,” said Moon Reynolds.

10 News reached out to Better Agreements, LLC. and has not heard back.

We also reached out to Vice Mayor Joe Cobb who is also the chair of the commission, he tells 10 News he has no comment at this time.

Mayor Lea says the audit will be made public once it is completed. As to when the audit will be complete, that is unknown at this time.

This is not the first time funding from the Gun Violence Prevention Commission has been questioned.

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