COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - WINK News took our exclusive video of vandalized and unfinished homes in a county-run program right to Collier's top leaders to see what they say.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program is being audited by the Clerk of Courts, Dwight Brock, for misuse of government funds. Brock has even requested our video of homes we filmed for his audit.
Some of what we've shown Brock he's already seen. In fact, he's been to the house on 41st Street Southwest in Golden Gate.
"Looked like someone was squatting there," Brock says in reference to a dirty mattress and clogged toilet at the home.
After watching our video, he wonders why the county never locked up the home. Brock says they viewed it's condition many days before we were able to enter through an open back door.
"A county staff member was with my staff when we went in there and saw that."
County Commissioner Tom Henning may be wondering the same thing. He issued this statement:
"After viewing this investigative report, I'm shocked and disappointed in upper management failing to secure these properties. It was clear at the commissioners meeting, the board wanted these properties secured. This exposure is a great liability to the county and clearly a slap in the face to the taxpayers."
Jim Coletta is the only other commissioner that responded to our request for comment. He says he fully supports filing criminal charges on anyone that misused public funds once the audit is out.
HUD, the agency who issues the federal funds, is also investigating. They tell WINK News when the agency monitors the program they don't go to the homes to check the work is done, they simply make sure the county is in compliance with the program.
WINK News will continue to check when the audit will be available.