PISMO BEACH, Calif- Cal Fire may be on the hook for 3.6 million dollars. The Department of Finance is investigating whether or not the money from Cal Fires Wildland Fire Investigation Training and Equipment Fund was properly used. For example, over 20-thousand of that was spent at a four day conference for fire investigators in Pismo Beach.
Cal Fire claims it did nothing wrong and said the money was made from people blamed for wildfires and that money was never meant for the state's general fund.
Now Cal Fire said part of the reason they held the conference at the Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach is because it serves as Pismo Beach's fire department and the resort gave them a state rate of 84 dollars a night. "We are only allowed to spend 84-dollars a night per person, but in this case, in this class, we actually doubled up in those rooms," said Daniel Berlant, a Cal Fire Spokesperson.
Besides conferences, the money from the fund was also spent on equipment such as digital cameras and evidence sheds. "It was not only for fire investigator training but also for equipment in doing fire investigation, that includes cameras, all are part of the process of investigating a fire and tracking down the responsible parties," said Berlant.
More than 800-thousand dollars in the fund is frozen as the investigation continues. Cal Fire said it will decide where those funds go after the audit.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:44 AM EDT2013-05-21 12:44:52 GMT
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