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Calif. state park official caught in vacation buyout scheme

(July 17, 2012) -- At a time when California state parks are struggling for funds, a state park scandal, involving unauthorized big vacation buyouts and hundreds of thousands of dollars, has come to light, reports abc7.com.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — At a time when California state parks are struggling for funds, a state park scandal, involving unauthorized big vacation buyouts and hundreds of thousands of dollars, has come to light, reports abc7.com.

abc7.com reports that an internal Parks audit and an audit from the attorney general have revealed a secret program where state workers got as much as $27,000 in checks without anybody knowing. The audit alleges that high-ranking deputy director Manuel Thomas Lopez was secretly carrying out an unauthorized vacation buyout program for certain park employees between May and July of last year.

abc7.com reports that fifty-six people took advantage, and the state doled out nearly $300,000 at a time when state parks have $1 billion worth of maintenance to do.

For the complete story from abc7.com, click here.

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