California Governor Jerry Brown has accepted the resignation of state Parks Director Ruth Coleman after learning the department underreported tens of millions of dollars for at least 12 years.
A preliminary investigation revealed that the State Parks and Recreation Fund and the Off Highway Vehicle Fund held a total of 54 million dollars more than what was reported.
70 parks slated to close this year were saved at least temporarily with help from non-profits, private organizations and individual donations. Natural Resources Secretary John Laird says the Brown administration will work with the Legislature to see how the money can be used.
“This is deeply disappointing because we just went to many partners around the state to get them to step up to cover the shortfall and I’m truly sorry about that.”
The Attorney General’s office and the Department of Finance will conduct an investigation and audit into the fiscal mismanagement.
In her resignation letter, Ruth Coleman says she was unaware of the money and personally appalled to find out.