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PA – LE – Pa. agency that looks for wasteful spending wasted $160,000 on guns and ammo it can’t use

Now the weapons are collecting dust in storage and taxpayers are on the hook. The state inspector general’s office, which works to ferret out waste and misconduct in Pennsylvania government programs and agencies, has itself made a costly blunder and left taxpayers on the hook, Spotlight PA has learned. The watchdog office spent nearly $160,000 on pistols, ammunition and related equipment that its investigators are not legally allowed to carry. As a result, the weapons have collected dust in storage for nearly two years. The purchases were made after a 2017 law expanded the office’s powers, handing it the authority to issue subpoenas and search warrants. At the time, Gov. Tom Wolf said the changes would help the office serve taxpayers with “efficiency and accountability.” Sometime afterward, however, questions arose. The administration determined “the law did not support” arming employees of the office, said Jonathan Hendrickson, a spokesman for the inspector general. It’s unclear why that determination was not made before the state solicited bids and ultimately bought the weapons. Former state Inspector General Bruce Beemer — who led the office at the time of the purchase and who was confirmed in December to become a judge in Allegheny County — did not respond to several requests for comment.  [full article]

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