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Questions Surround Federal Probe Into Lyons Flood Funding

LYONS, Colo. (CBS4) – Residents in Lyons say they feel like they’ve been left in the dark after learning about a federal investigation into flood recovery funds.

It’s still unclear which federal agency is investigating, and why, but residents say town administrator Victoria Simonsen and town clerk Deb Anthony are both on temporary paid administrative leave.

probe Questions Surround Federal Probe Into Lyons Flood Funding

On Tuesday, Mayor Connie Sullivan said town officials are cooperating with federal investigators, granting them access to official documents related to flood recovery funds.

The town was granted a $36 million FEMA grant after severe floods tore through the area three years ago.

Damage from flooding in Lyons on Sept. 19, 2013. (credit: CBS)

Damage from flooding in Lyons on Sept. 19, 2013. (credit: CBS)

An audit by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General back in April reveals Lyons officials did not comply with FEMA guidelines when contracting government-funded work, incurred costs for leased equipment that they did not use and completed projects without FEMA approval on environmental requirements.

It’s unclear if the investigation is related to those findings.

Damage from flooding in Lyons in September 2013. (credit: CBS)

Damage from flooding in Lyons in September 2013. (credit: CBS)

Officials will hold a special public meeting at Lyons Town Hall at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

An agenda shows plans to discuss town operations during the investigation, and plans to appoint an acting town administrator.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Department of Housing and Urban Development could not confirm or deny their involvement in the investigation.

When asked if the investigation was FEMA-related, a spokesperson said, “It’s not ours.”

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