City Beat

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September 14, 2012
Sacramento sports panel hasn't repaid city loan, audit finds

The regional sports foundation tasked with putting on last year's World Masters Athletics Championships (WMA) has not paid off a $400,000 loan to the city and may have spent the money on other events, an audit has found.

The Sacramento Region Sports Education Foundation (SRSEF) was granted the loan by the City Council in March 2010 from the city's parking fund to pay for WMA-related expenses. But revenues from the event fell more than $250,000 short of expenses and the loan was not repaid.

A report by City Auditor Jorge Oseguera said the foundation "did not segregate the City loan funds and can therefore not ensure that City money was only used for its intended purpose." The audit found that the foundation - an arm of the Sacramento Sports Commission - spent money on other events during the time it was funding the WMA.

The executive director of the foundation has acknowledged it was a mistake not to segregate the city's loan into a separate account. But he also said "he believed that the loan funds were only used for the WMA event because of the timing of when they were made."

I have left messages for the executive director of the foundation, with foundation board members and with the chair of the Sports Commission.

The audit also found that the SRSEF's "annual spending has exceeded annual revenues for several years;" that the foundation's budgeting process "lacked formal approval and complete information;" and that "while no evidence of unauthorized transactions was found (during the audit), SRSEF lacked strong internal controls."

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

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