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Kern County Fair officials respond to state audit report

Posted at 6:48 PM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 19:17:47-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Kern County Fair has responded to the California Department of Food and Agriculture's audit released in August that states a California county fair misused state resources and violated multiple state laws.

The statement which was released Friday evening reads " On behalf of CEO Michael Olcott, The Kern County Fair and Event Center Board of Directors, and Chairwoman Blodgie Rodriguez: Due to California whistleblower law, we are unable to disclose the name of the fair that was the subject of the State Auditor’s report last month.”

"Due to California whistleblower law, we are unable to disclose the name of the fair that was the subject of the State Auditor’s report last month.”
Kern County Fair

While the state audit doesn't name the Kern County Fair specifically, it says a fair CEO and maintenance supervisor allowed and often participated in the gross mismanagement of funds, including making purchases that had no receipts, excessive and illegal out-of-state travel expenses, expensive dinners, alcohol purchases, large tips and more.

At the Kern County Fair's last board meeting on September 16, 2019, two days before the start of this year's fair, the agenda shows they reviewed a 2017 financial audit. However, it is unclear if that audit is the same report as the Department of food and agriculture's audit.

The agenda also shows they discussed policies including travel and meal expenses, personal IT equipment usage, and nepotism.

The state audit also recommended for the unnamed county fair to take appropriate disciplinary action against the CEO, the maintenance supervisor, and all other permanent and temporary employees who engaged in improper governmental activities that they identified.

You can read the full state audit report below: