Under threat of being sued, San Francisco paid back half the $5.4 million it received in disputed federal grant money to prosecute border crimes and pledged to make good on whatever else it owes by midyear, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. District Attorney Kamala Harris said she did not know until last week that federal auditors had concluded the city had no proof it deserved the grant money.
The federal government gave the money to San Francisco under the Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative, which Congress created to reimburse counties for the cost of prosecuting border-related crimes, such as drug trafficking that federal authorities referred to local agencies. San Francisco’s share was the largest of any county in the nation in fiscal 2006. A Justice Department audit later concluded that the city had no evidence federal prosecutors had referred any of the more than 2,000 cases that Harris’ office said it had taken on under the program.