September 2, 2014
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The state attorney general's office says officials at the highest level of the California Department of Parks and Recreation helped keep millions of dollars secret for more than a decade.
In a report released Friday, the office says the "intentional non-disclosure" continued because employees feared the department's budget would be cut if lawmakers found out and that they would be embarrassed about the years of covering it up.
Parks Director Ruth Coleman resigned and a senior parks official was fired last summer after $54 million was found hidden in two special funds even as up to 70 parks faced closure. The report says the actual amount of money intentionally hidden was $20 million.
No employees were found to have stolen any of the money.
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