SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A recent audit revealed that California State Park leaders knew about $54 million in hidden money. They say the money was deliberately unreported going back to at least 1999.
When the Great Recession forced budget cuts in recent years, the state created a list of 70 parks to close and no one said anything about the hidden money to save them. In some cases, the department used numbers from 2002 to determine which parks to close in 2012.
Officials say some bureaucrats didn’t even know how much it cost to run a particular park. State officials are expected to meet and discuss the audit on Tuesday. Most of the parks employees involved have already resigned or have been terminated. The attorney general declined to press criminal charges, and no parks have been closed.