NewsCovering Kern County


Kern County Fair Board holds second meeting since allegations

Posted at 6:56 PM, Nov 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-19 18:16:04-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Kern County Fair held its second Board of Directors meeting Monday night since allegations that the fair misused funds came to light.

A state audit released in August detailed a "California County Fair" that misused state resources and violated multiple state laws. The Kern County Fair is not mentioned by name in the audit, but the District Attorney's Office says fair board members confirmed to them that the audit was "likely" about the Kern's fair. Some concerned residents turned out to the meeting on Monday looking for answers from the board of directors.

The audit details over $300,000 in misused funds. Including $132,000 in credit card purchases with no receipts, and $30,000 in excessive and illegal travel expenses. The report also said several employees spent most of their work hours doing side jobs. That's why people like Mary Helen Barro turned out to the meeting to speak up.

"I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am. I have been a huge supporter of this fair ever since I had my radio station and we founded Via Festiva, to help diversify the fair. And I am going to be here until this gets resolved," Barro said, speaking during the 'public comments' section of the meeting.

23ABC reached out to the Department of Food and Agriculture asking for a comment on the audit, we asked the Governor's office if any board members will be disciplined, and we asked the DA for an update on their investigation. We haven't heard back from any yet.