State parks finds more hidden money

Earthmoving machines called excavators construct a dike in the Malibu Lagoon as part of the California State Parks restoration project.

A new audit of the California Department of Parks and Recreation discovered an extra $3.9 million in a fund with no designated purpose, The Sacramento Bee reported.

The audit was conducted by the state Department of Finance. Its report, released last Friday, located the money in the State Park Contingency Fund, which was created to collect private donations to the state parks system. 

According to The Bee, each of the donations are supposed to be numbered, but the Department of Finance found that 20 percent of the money in the funds had no project numbers and were designated as “general purpose.”

In July, state auditors discovered State Parks had stashed away a $54-million budget surplus for more than 10 years.

The State Parks Department has been involved in several high-profile cases in Malibu over the years, including the Malibu Lagoon project and efforts to remove Rindge Dam.