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DPS Fires Top Official After Criminal Investigation Into Homeland Security Grants

The Texas Department of Public Safety has started a process to fire a top official who used to be in charge of administering Homeland Security Grants in the state. DPS said in a statement that the move follows a five-month investigation of Janice Bruno and alleged criminal misconduct involving a grant issued to the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Last December, The state auditor suspended Bruno and replaced the entire leadership team in her office, the State Administrative Agency. It also suspended all contractors working with SAA and suspended payments to those contractors.

Bruno spoke last year at a conference hosted by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Her speaker biography describes Bruno as a retired member of the Texas National Guard with 30 years of military service.

The SAA distributes grants provided by the federal Department of Homeland Security to private and public organizations considered to be "high-level targets" for terrorist attacks. About a third of the money is supposed to go to law enforcement. Those grants, by the way, were cut substantially this year.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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