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Report Rips Montgomery County Program

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By Matt Bush

A new report calls for sweeping changes to Montgomery County's tuition assistance program for employees. The program was suspended after reports it was being abused.

More than 200 county employees took classes, paid for with taxpayer money, that allowed them to purchase firearms for personal use at deeply discounted prices. The county is suing to get its money back from the company that offered the classes according to Joe Adler, the director of the county's office of human resources.

"We do concur that fraud was committed that enabled the purchase of weapons. And steps have been taken to recoup these monies," says Adler.

But if and when the program is reinstated, oversight changes are needed according to a report from the county inspector general. But county councilman Marc Elrich believes just a simple tweak is needed.

"I don't understand why we need new procedures. I don't understand why we need new anything, other than somebody in the personnel office saying, the class does not further your goal, your position, or prepare you for another job in county government. Go away and take another class," says Elrich.

County executive Isiah Leggett eliminated the program in his budget plan for the next fiscal year, saying there isn't money to fund it.

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