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Audit: State Parks Department hid millions

An audit shows California's Parks Department hid money from lawmakers and the governor at the height of the recent budget crisis. Officials als oinappropriately paid $300,000 to employees for unused vacations.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A new audit says California’s parks department still needs to make accounting fixes in the wake of a financial scandal.

The Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/14Dz3aJ ) says the state audit released Tuesday found continuing problems.

The department was hit by scandal last year when it was discovered that officials hid $54 million from the governor and Legislature in special funds at a time when a budget crisis threatened to close dozens of parks.

In addition, it’s been found that employees were inappropriately reimbursed some $300,000 for unused vacation time.

The audit says enough hasn’t been done to prevent such reimbursements.

However, parks spokeswoman Vicky Waters says the department plans to have a new accounting system in place by year’s end.

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