Two accounts payable audits recently released by California chief auditor John Chiang revealed that the city of Montebello misused more than $31 million.
The mismanagement – which occurred over a period of five years – involved funds for the Los Angeles County suburb's redevelopment agency and gas tax payments. A portion of these were improperly used for expenses such as council members' golf tournament registration fees and an extravagant dinner in Las Vegas for the city manager.
"At the expense of local job development, street repair, and schools, Montebello has made it a habit to tap legally restricted funds to cover its budget and cash shortfalls," Chiang said in a statement.
Interim city administrator Larry Kosmont is questioning the validity of some of Chiang's findings and claiming that he "overstepped the bounds of generally accepted public accounting standards," according to The Los Angeles Times.