Sacramento, CA – The Associated Press reports the state Attorney General’s office says officials at the highest level of the California Department of Parks and Recreation not only knew about millions of dollars in hidden funds, but actually helped keep the secret for more than a decade.
In a report released today, the office says the “intentional non-disclosure” continued because employees feared the department’s budget would be cut if lawmakers found out. Also, they worried that they would be embarrassed about the years of covering it up.
Parks Director Ruth Coleman resigned, and another senior parks official was fired, last summer after $54 million was found hidden in two special funds. It came at a time when 70 parks faced closure, including Railtown 1897. The report says the actual amount of money intentionally hidden was $20 million.
The AP says no employees were found to have stolen any of the money.