The Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety last year released hundreds of thousands of dollars in homeland security aid to a police department without documentation on how the money was being spent, reports the Boston Globe. About $200,000 of the funds went to a firm with ties to public safety Secretary Edward A. Flynn. The firm used some of the money to write two confidential reports on homeland security for Flynn and his senior staff in his first weeks on the job.
The Globe says that some grant administrators at the public safety office told Flynn and his top managers last spring that the agency should not release the money.
Flynn has pledged tighter control over grant money. In December, he brought in federal investigators to scrutinize the funding awarded by former public safety secretary James Jajuga. The FBI is now investigating past grants awarded by the public safety office under Jajuga.
An aide said Flynn did not know that some of the grants to the Concord, Ma., police, which the agency initially awarded under Jajuga, went to PSComm, a Rockville, Md., consulting firm specializing in homeland security. A cofounder of PSComm, John D. Cohen, said the firm’s initial agreement to do research for a subcontractor of the Concord police was modified by the public safety agency, calling for PSComm to prepare the homeland security reports for Flynn. Robert Wasserman, PSComm’s other cofounder, served as a transition adviser after Flynn was tapped by governor-elect Mitt Romney to become public safety secretary. David McDonald, president of PSComm, said the firm gained no advantage later securing a $75,000 contract in June due to Wasserman’s serving as a Flynn adviser. “That’s insulting,” he said. “It ignores our record and reputation. We got it fair and square in a competitive situation.”