Culver City Assemblywoman Gets Ok to Audit Sheriff
February 27, 2020
A Joint Legislative Audit Committee approves Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager's request to audit three county sheriffs' departments.
The Los Angeles County, Alameda County and Fresno County sheriffs' departments will be audited for their use of realignment funds, money given by the state to counties to move incarcerated people from prisons to county jails.
Members of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved the audit during the Committee's February 26 hearing at the request of Assemblymember Kamlager.
"I am concerned about overspending by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, refusal by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to conduct an audit of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department and a sharp increase in deaths in Fresno County jails, the sharpest increase of any county since realignment," said Kamlager.
Since 2011, California has sent more than $8 billion to counties to move incarcerated people from prisons to jails. California law does not allow county officials to put those funds towards unrelated county costs. However, limited oversight may have allowed such spending, according to recent reporting by ProPublica.
"Access to data that shows how the funds are being spent, not just how much is being spent, is the first step toward crafting legislative solutions," said Kamlager.
California adopted Assembly Bill 109 in the spirit of progressive criminal justice reform. Proper state-level oversight will enable legislators to discern whether county sheriffs are spending prison realignment funds as intended, and in a way that supports the health and dignity of incarcerated Californians.
The 54th Assembly District includes Culver City and portions of Inglewood and Los Angeles.