SACRAMENTO -- California lawmakers, faced with a series of revelations about improper or dubious accounting, on Wednesday approved another audit of state funds.
The latest audit was requested after the discovery of $3.6 million that the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection was stashing outside of the state general fund. The money, generated by legal settlements, had been held for seven years at the California District Attorneys Assn., a nonprofit.
Accounting problems have also been revealed at the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) expressed “serious concerns” about the situation at Cal Fire and said he wants to determine if any money is being held improperly.
“Is this just the tip of the iceberg?” he said. “How rampant is this behavior?”
The review, approved by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, will take about five months, state Auditor Elaine Howle estimated.
The committee also voted for an audit involving gun ownership.
Republican lawmakers are worried that information on cases of mental illness hasn’t been passed on to authorities, allowing firearms to fall into the hands of people who shouldn’t be legally allowed to own them.
That audit could take six months, Howle said.
Republicans push audit on guns and mental health
Lawmakers to study agencies' use of hidden accounts
Cal Fire kept $3.6 million from state's treasury, records show