Lawsuit filed against Pennsylvania auditor general

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released a 63-page report Thursday on the Helen Thackston Charter School.
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale (file photo)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A lawsuit was filed Wednesday against the Pennsylvania auditor general by Real Alternatives over an audit. Real Alternatives is a non-profit organization that provides alternatives to abortions.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said this is the first time he’s ever been sued in Commonwealth Court for what he says is “doing his job”.

“This is the only time since I’ve been auditor general that this has happened,” DePasquale said.

Real Alternatives has a $30 million, five-year grant from the Department of Human Services and gets about $7 million a year from the state. The department asked the auditor general to complete the audit.

“Up until even a few days ago, we had every impression they were going to be supplying all the documents that we had asked for,” DePasquale said.

Depasquale said the organization keeps three percent of the state money, calling it administrative fees. Real Alternatives charges all of its subcontractors three percent to promote the development and expansion of initiatives. It totals up to almost one million dollars over five years. Depasquale wants to know what they are doing with that money.

“The fact that they’re willing to file a lawsuit to try and cover over what they’re doing with it, that raises more questions than answers,” he said.

Real Alternatives has a statement posted on their website, saying in part:

“Real Alternatives is amazed that this matter is even an issue since it was legally researched as well as discussed and approved by the then Department of Public Welfare prior to implementation … Although we regret we had to file the action, our request for a Declaratory Judgment by the court is necessary to save both parties time and expenses, and to finally resolve this simple legal issue.”

“It is an absolute shame that Real Alternatives has now hired lawyers to represent them on this. This is now more Pennsylvania taxpayer dollars wasted – because I’m sure that taxpayer dollars are being used to pay these lawyers – and if not I’d love to see proof that it’s not,” DePasquale said.

DePasquale said if they don’t win in Commonwealth Court, they’ll appeal to the Supreme Court.

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