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Todorovich: Improvements continue in Homeland Security, Emergency Management

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The director of the state Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management told state lawmakers Thursday most of the 18 issues pointed out in a 2019 audit of the agency have either been corrected or are in the process of being corrected.

Michael Todorovich

Director Michael Todorovich told members of the House of Delegates Finance Committee his agency has been working diligently in recent months to address the issues. He said that includes some structural changes.

“We’re causing our financial and programmatic folks to work together so that when we pay a dollar we are getting everything we paid for and everything matches,” Todorovich said.

The annual Single Audit done on the state’s finances said the agency had been out of compliance on handling federal disaster relief dollars. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) handed down sanctions against the state in connection with disaster relief. Those sanctions were lifted last September.

Todorovich said Thursday not all issues have been resolved. It said this year’s Single Audit will also include some findings that need correction but he said those would be connected more to the timing of the audit than anything else.

A legislative audit released in May 2018 said the agency could not account for all of its equipment including $254,000 in trailers. Todorovich said Thursday all but a few have been located.

“One of my guys is going to Clarksburg this week. We think we’ve found one of the trailers that we didn’t have,” Todorovich said. “We found trailers in unique places. Most of them were on state property or under state control they just weren’t on our books.”

Jimmy Gianato

Todorovich said he would give the agency an A-minus on locating its equipment.

“The reason for the minus is just sheer volume to get completely reconciled,” he said.

Meanwhile, Todorovich told the committee he plans to retire in a few months.

“It’s my intention to retire at the end of March,” Todorovich said. “The next director will still have it pretty hard here but two years from now this will be a great job to have.”

Todorovich replaced longtime Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Jimmy Gianato who was reassigned in October 2018. Todorovich took over the following month. Gianato retired from the state a few months later.

Dianna Graves

A pair of delegates praised Todorovich for the job he’s done with a messy situation.

“Whoever takes over for you should be grateful,” Delegate Dianna Graves, R-Kanawha, said. “You came in at a time that was really difficult for your department. I believe at the last FEMA site visit they said you had turned the ship around finally and now you’re sailing in the right direction so I would like to commend you for your work.”

Veteran Delegate Brent Boggs echoed those comments.

“Truly you have been so responsive and so helpful over the years to all of us in the legislature and to our state,” Boggs said.

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