State parks audit confirms fears

SACRAMENTO — A new audit confirms that staff at the California Department of Parks and Recreation intentionally under-reported the amount of money in its accounts for at least 19 years.

The state Department of Finance audit released Friday says staff used inconsistent budget methods and couldn’t provide “reasonable explanations” or supporting documents.

The state found $54 million hidden in two funds just as parks were about to be closed.

But the report did not say why the department reported different numbers to the state controller and the governor’s office. The attorney general is also investigating.

New parks director Anthony Jackson agreed with most of the findings and says he’s implementing better internal controls.

The audit also said parks staff failed to track donations and employees made improper charges on state-issued credit cards.

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