SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Your taxpayer dollars, going to dead people: that's what an audit of the state welfare system revealed , but Governor Deval Patrick reviewed some of those alleged fraud cases, and says they don't belong on the list.
The Governor says that 13 of the cases involved duplicate entries, 54 had already been closed, and 79 people were in fact still living.
"Facts really do matter. 17 cases of abuse is serious, but it's not 1,200," said Governor Patrick.
Governor Patrick told 22News any abuse of the system infuriates him, but 99.9% of taxpayer dollars are used the way they're supposed to. 22News spoke with taxpayers to find out if they think that much of their money is spent the right way.
"I wouldn't say 99.9 percent but I would say the majority of it is. There's a lot of people who receive benefits who should not. I think it's got to be tighter and tighter and tighter," said Peter Ansara of Springfield.
"There should be checks and balances in place that make people accountable. So I'd rather see some situation set up to help make everybody be a little more transparent," said Joe Brown of Southwick.
In responding to the potentially inaccurate numbers, Auditor Suzanne Bump said she and Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz share the same goal: to make sure public assistance programs are run with integrity.