By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A city of Sacramento-proposed $450,000 grant to a prominent non-profit is drawing scrutiny from city hall watchdogs.

The non-profit, the Roberts Family Development Center, is still making payments to the state in a settlement over allegations of misuse of public funds.

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When asked how he would respond to anyone concerned about how the public’s money is spent, Roberts said, “A couple years ago, you might have had a reason to [be concerned], I don’t think you have that reason anymore.”

The Sacramento city council is set to vote on a $450,000 grant to the Roberts Family Development Center on Del Paso Boulevard on Tuesday. The money would pay for a remodel to the non-profit’s main hall.

The prominent Sacramento non-profit, aimed at helping families in need, became the center of controversy last year when a state lawsuit filed in 2017 became public, showing allegations the organization misused state money with spending on restaurants and entertainment.

“The problem is we didn’t document it properly,” Roberts said. “So now we recognize we have to make sure every receipt is there.”

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A settlement requires the Roberts Family Development Center to make a payment of $7,000 to the state every month.

Following the settlement, the city of Sacramento froze funding to the organization until a city audit recommended new fiscal controls—including a financial agent to oversee Sacramento taxpayer dollars.

Eye on Sacramento President Craig Powell says the proposed new $450,000 grant is bad business for city taxpayers.

“The city is not paying attention to all the red flags that this raises,” Powell said. “For the city to rush back into financing this kind of an organization, that has shown culpability in the handling of money is beyond me and on top of that we have a city audit.”

This high-profile non-profit is seeking to put its money trouble in the past. City hall is prepared to partner again.

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“We have earned the right to come back and be given a chance to prove the work that we did for 19 years, should not be marred from a period when people saw negatives,” Roberts said.