Audit: Calif. Avocado Commission Misspent Money

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - State auditors say employees of the California Avocado Commission misspent tens of thousands of dollars in farmers' contributions on clothing, gifts and other personal expenses.

The audit released Friday also claims the commission's former chief executive improperly used $17,000 to renovate his home.

Mark Affleck, who resigned as CEO in May to take a leadership position with Saddleback Church, declined to comment Friday.

The audit by the California Department of Food and Agriculture claims 18 commission employees racked up more than $1.5 million on commission-issued credit cards over three years. Some of those charges were called "questionable at best and even personal at times."

The report has been forwarded to the state Department of Justice for review.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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