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Audit says State Misspent

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Legislative auditors have finished their investigation into West Virginia's purchase of more than 1,100 expensive routers for connecting to the Internet.

A report scheduled for Sunday release is expected to examine the $24 million deal.

State officials in 2010 arranged to buy the high-capacity Cisco routers with federal stimulus funds. The deal aimed to help expand Internet access throughout the state by creating high-speed hubs at schools, libraries and other community institutions.

But questions about the cost and type of router have since dogged the contract. The U.S. Commerce Department's inspector general criticized West Virginia officials last month for their handling of the stimulus spending.

State officials argue the routers allow for a long-lasting, high-capacity broadband network to serve the entire state while also boosting communications for first responders.

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