State lawmakers have launched an investigation into whether the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings improperly received public benefits.
The head of the House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight said Monday that the panel is reviewing more than 400 pages of documents collected from state agencies that may have provided benefits to the suspects or their families since 2002.
"This is just the beginning of an ongoing inquiry," committee chairman David Paul Linsky said, while declining to reveal whether an initial review found any signs of impropriety.
He said that taxpayers have a right to know whether public funds were being used correctly or "in any way to help support the horrific, horrific events that occurred here."
The Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services confirmed last week that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his wife and toddler daughter had received welfare benefits until last year. Tsarnaev was killed in a police chase the week of the bombing, while his 19-year-old brother, Dzhohkar Tsarnaev has been arrested.
The state says the brothers received welfare benefits as children through their parents while the family lived in Massachusetts. Authorities reported last week that neither was receiving benefits at the time of the bombing.
Linsky said the committee would meet again as early as the end of this week and the inquiry would include testimony from state officials.
"I will assure the members of the public that this committee will actively review every single piece of information that we can find on this particular inquiry, because clearly the public has a substantial right to know what benefits, if any, this family and the individuals who are accused of some horrific, horrific crimes were receiving," Linsky said.