NIAGARA FALLS - Not only is Stephanie Cowart the highest paid executive among all the public housing authorities in WNY, an audit reveals she was also spending money from the Niagara Falls Public Housing Authority on herself and her family.
Those are the findings from an outside audit done on agency spending for the 2015-16 budget year.
The audit, done by EFPR Group of Williamsville, found that Cowart had misused Authority resources by:
-Having NFHA employees run errands for her
-Using petty cash on personal expenses
-Paying her son twice as much as other employees working an authority-run after school program
-Paying for expenditures on her sister's home
-Giving a pair of $3,000 grants to family members without merit
Spokesperson and attorney for the NFHA, Jason Caferella, says the grant money has been returned to the agency in full.
Cowart remains on paid administrative leave. 2 On-Your-Side was first to report she is the highest paid executive in any public housing authority in WNY at almost $144,000 a year.
Also, Cowart remains the sole person of interest in an FBI investigation of the NFHA.
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