Up Next: City halts Mosaic’s work under Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund; Gaffney asks for another audit

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City officials have told Mosaic Cultural Complex, a local organization receiving funds from the Massachusetts Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund, to cease operations on work relating to the fund.

[Editor’s Note: Shortly before 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. released a statement that reads:
“Questions have been raised in regard to recent payments made as part of the state Prevention & Wellness Trust Fund. In order to get all the answers, I have asked the Attorney General’s Office to look into this information. In the meantime, I have put a hold on all reimbursements to Mosaic Cultural Complex and an update to their contract which ran until Dec. 31, 2015. I believe that asking an outside, independent agency to look into this matter is the best course to promote transparency and ensure public confidence in the expenditure of these state funds.”]

Mosaic is one of 11 organizations in Worcester that receives funding from The Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund. The city’s administration of the grant was the subject of an audit in the fall.

The city on Oct. 27 made public the results of the audit, which found no evidence of fraud on the part of Mosaic or the other partner organizations. The review did, however, among other findings, reveal deficiencies in internal controls and possible violations of state labor law by Mosaic.

At the Dec. 8 City Council meeting, City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr., said the city, as of Dec. 31, would require Mosaic to abide by the original terms of the contract and cease up-front payments if those terms were not met.

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