New Jersey Auditor Questions $27 Light Bulbs Billed Under Stimulus Program
November 13, 2010
By Dunstan McNichol – Nov 12, 2010 3:16 PM CT
Contractors billed New Jersey $27 apiece for light bulbs. Photographer: Jack Atley/Bloomberg
Contractors billed New Jersey $27 for light bulbs, and ran up tens of thousands of dollars in other “unreasonable costs” on a $119 million weatherization program funded with U.S. stimulus money, the state auditor said.
Out of $613,600 in charges reviewed, $54,000, or 8.8 percent, was deemed unreasonable by Auditor Stephen Eells, according to a Nov. 8 report to lawmakers. The audit examined program oversight by the state Community Affairs Department.
One contractor sought $27 for light bulbs, while another billed $1.50 for similar items, according to the report and Assistant Auditor Thomas Meseroll. Another vendor charged $75 for carbon-monoxide detectors that it had provided to a different program for $22, the report said. Eells also cited $32,700 in auditing fees when “no services had been performed” and $69,000 in construction costs that couldn’t be verified.