Attorney General Peter Kilmartin announced today new guidance received from the United States Department of Justice which will impact use of equitable sharing funds received by the Attorney General's office and other agencies as the result of the "Google" settlement.
In program guidance released on July 30, 2014 by the United States Department of Justice, it was announced that several policy changes have been implemented, which are immediately effective. Among the policies is one affecting "Community-based Programs." According to the guidance, "the amount of equitable sharing funds used to support community-based programs …may use up to a total of $25,000 annually to support such programs…" Formerly, the formula for community-based program expenditures was based upon 15 percent of the funds received.
Attorney General Kilmartin stated, "The receipt of equitable sharing funds has given an unprecedented opportunity for those agencies receiving funding to address historical needs that could not have otherwise been addressed. As I have repeatedly stated, however, these funds are strictly administered by the United States Department of Justice, and we are only permitted to spend them in accordance with that department's rules.
"Although this new guidance clearly limits the amount of money that can be spent on solely community-based programs, and will come as a disappointment to some who have publicly sought to use these funds, I remain confident that addressing the long-standing needs of this office and law enforcement will have a positive impact on the communities we serve as well."