Officials in Rhode Island's capital say understaffing at a city department is at least partly to blame for the fact more than $330,000 in checks received for inspections and fees went missing and uncashed.
A spokesman for Providence Mayor Angel Taveras (tah-VER'-ahs) says the city has launched an investigation in the Department of Inspection and Standards to make sure there are no other uncashed checks.
Spokesman David Ortiz says the 186 recently discovered checks totaled $334,755 and were mainly for permitting fees. He said Thursday about 24 are more than a year old and the city will ask that they be reissued. The largest check was for $114,000.
Ortiz calls the loss of the checks "unacceptable" especially given the city's financial woes. Providence is working to close a multimillion-dollar budget deficit.