Are Los Osos officials overlooking misappropriation of funds?

February 9, 2019

General Manager Renee Osborne

By KAREN VELIE

After determining Los Osos Community Services District board members overcharged the district for stipends, the board voted unanimously Thursday not to make themselves reimburse the district. [Cal Coast Times]

For several years, Los Osos board members submitted requests for stipends for attending meetings when the payments were not permitted. Examples include a director charging for a meeting that occurred before he was elected to office, directors charging for two meetings in one day in violation of state law, and for charging for meeting with staff or other board members.

While elected to serve as non-paid public officials, state law permits board members to receive $100 stipends for attendance at board meetings and some training events to defray expenses.

On Dec. 21, activist Julie Tacker sent the district a letter detailing the alleged misappropriations of monies and asking the district to “recover the funds.” Shortly afterwards, the district concluded some of the board members had overcharged the district.

Tacker then procured additional records and analyzed six years of board member compensation requests.  In total, Tacker discovered nearly $15,000 in possibly ineligible stipend payments.

Vicki Miledge

District General Manager Renee Osborne determined some of the stipend charges were unfounded, but limited her examination to the past two years. For example, Osborn found that Board Member Vicki Milledge charged the district $1,200 for ineligible meetings, but also did not charge for other eligible meetings. Prior to Thursday’s board meeting, Milledge sent the district $400.

On Thursday, the board revised its bylaws and confirmed board members are not eligible for compensation for meeting with staff or other board members to discuss future agendas. “Moving forward,” the board agreed to no longer permit illicit compensation, and also voted not to require board members to reimburse the district for the past ineligible payments.

Tacker, who wants the board members to reimburse the district, plans to file a formal complaint with the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.

“I just want the money returned,” Tacker said. “This is not their money, it is the public’s money.”


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Hazmateer

“This is not their money, it is the public’s money.”-


I got a good chuckle out of this. In their opinion, the public’s money IS their money.


rukidding

Often referred to as “free money.”


kayaknut

Why worry about getting the illegally taken money back, there is always more rate/tax payer money that can be taken or scared the voters into approving.


shelworth

Judge raps gavel on desk, “not guilty”, defendant turns to lawyer, “Does that mean I get to keep the money I stole?”…


Mike Morgan

Is the LOCSDs corruption the reason the CSDs water rates are going up?


copperhead

Does working in government corrupt people or do corrupt people seek out jobs in government? Kind of a chicken and the egg question I guess.


Hazmateer

Easy money is corrupting. Government service = easy money.


jimmy_me

Los Osos: still leading the way in SLO County corruption.


rukidding

Good luck. Remember this is SLO and this only appears to be business as a

usual.