A Fort Worth City Councilman’s adult son has now paid back more than eight-thousand dollars in federal grant money intended to help low-to-moderate income residents buy a house. Councilman Danny Scarth says no laws were broken and that he and his son Payton were not aware there was a separate process for people who might have a conflict of interest.
The grant program is funded by the Federal Housing and Urban Development Department but the city handles the paperwork. Payton Scarth received a grant last year, using it to help purchase a town-house worth about $86,000.
The city already had a policy allowing city employees to apply for the grants, as long as they met the income requirements. Scarth might have been allowed to take that path, but instead applied through regular channels without notifying the federal government.
Following a routine audit, HUD reported that the grant to Payton Scarth probably violated the federal government’s conflict-of-interest rules. Scarth then paid the money back.