California lawmakers are moving ahead with plans to demand increased accountability from local sheriffs’ offices. On Thursday, Assembly Member Sydney Kamlager, D-Los Angeles, said she would demand an audit of several sheriffs’ offices’ use of state money intended to offset the costs of the 2011 realignment changes.
Since 2011, California has sent more than $8 billion to counties to cover the increased local costs. The California Constitution prohibits county officials from using that money to cut their own costs elsewhere. But lax spending rules and limited scrutiny from both state and county officials have allowed just that, McClatchy and ProPublica reported in December.
Though local governments routinely move money from one law enforcement purpose to another, doing so with realignment funds may violate state law.