As expected, the Los Angeles County board of supervisors on Tuesday called for an investigation into possible conflicts of interest and into how $80 million in AIDS funds were spent by the county's Office of AIDS Programs and Policy, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports. The investigation was announced after an internal audit by the AIDS office released Monday showed that some areas of the county received more funds than they should have and that the office could not determine how more than $80 million in funds was spent last year. The supervisors requested a report from investigators within 30 days.
Several AIDS organizations in the Los Angeles area welcomed the investigations. Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said he is concerned that the office had no system in place to track its spending. Stephen Simon, associate director of government affairs for AIDS Project Los Angeles, said that while APLA supports the investigation, he hopes the investigation doesn't drag on beyond the 30-day window called for by the county supervisors. "I don't want this to turn into a witch-hunt," he said. "I can't afford to have the [office] be even less able to do their work."