SEIU 1021 Vice President Requests State Controller Audit of Mendocino County
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
Contact: Ian Lee, email@example.com, (510) 384-7165
UKIAH, CA – On Friday, August 4, 2023, SEIU 1021 Vice President Mary Sandberg made an official request to California State Controller Malia Cohen’s Office to conduct an audit and review of Mendocino County’s financial condition. A copy of the official letter can be found here.
Dear Controller Cohen:
We are writing on behalf of our Mendocino County members and concerned community members to ask your office to conduct an audit of county finances and a review of the county’s recent grant seeking efforts, particularly in the area of securing available federal and state support to defray the cost of medical insurance for county employees working primarily on grant-funded programs.
Mendocino has a troubling recent history of fiscal mismanagement. Both Mendocino County’s former chief executive Carmel Angelo and its former tax collector Shari Shapmire say the current Board of Supervisors is unprepared to properly evaluate the county’s financial position.
Supervisor Ted Williams said during a public meeting last September that the county “has three sets of books,” and asked why he and other supervisors “haven’t been able to get a credible financial report.”
Mendocino County CEO Darcie Antle admitted to members of the Board of Supervisors that half of the deficit in the county’s health care plan is due to coverage for county employees working wholly or mostly on programs funded by state and federal grants, whose health care costs should have been reimbursed by these programs. She admitted that the county had not properly applied for reimbursement and was unable to obtain it retroactively.
We would encourage your auditors to review the following local media coverage of Mendocino County’s recent financial dysfunction and lack of transparency:
In short, frontline workers in Mendocino County who provide vital county health, human services and public works programs are concerned about the viability of the services they provide and their own livelihoods. They lack confidence in the ability of their elected and appointed officials to properly track and analyze county finances, maximize revenue collection and accurately report the county’s fiscal condition.
We are taking the unprecedented step of formally requesting an audit and review by your office as a result of our grave concerns about the county’s actual financial condition and current reserves and our lack of confidence in the ability of the county to provide accurate and truthful information in a timely manner to either the public or to our union at the bargaining table.
SEIU 1021 Vice President, Region B (North Coast)
SEIU Local 1021 represents nearly 60,000 employees in local governments, non-profit agencies, health care programs, and schools throughout Northern California, including seven private colleges and numerous community colleges. SEIU Local 1021 is a diverse, member-driven organization with members who work to make our cities, schools, colleges, counties, and special districts safe and healthy places to live and raise our families.