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State Parks director Ruth Coleman speaks at the grand opening of the Annenberg Community Beach House at Santa Monica State Beach on April 25, 2009 in Santa Monica, California.
State Parks Director Ruth Coleman resigned this morning and at least one subordinate employee has been fired after officials learned the department has been sitting on nearly $54 million of hidden excess funds for as long as 12 years.
The resignation and firing come in the wake of a scandal, revealed by The Sacramento Bee on Sunday, in which a deputy director at State Parks carried out a suspicious vacation buyout program for employees at department headquarters last year.
That buyout cost the state more than $271,000 at a time when the department was thought to be nearly broke and even considered closing dozens of California parks.
How surprised are to hear about this scandal? How does this suspicious activity impact your view of California politics?
Matt Weiser, environmental reporter for the Sacramento Bee