Home Financial responsibility State sues Paz Dominguez and Humboldt County for failure to comply with reporting requirements | Lost Coast Outpost

State sues Paz Dominguez and Humboldt County for failure to comply with reporting requirements | Lost Coast Outpost



The State of California is suing Humboldt County and Auditor-Comptroller Karen Paz Dominguez, personally and professionally, for failing to comply with government-mandated financial reporting requirements.

A nine-page complaint filed Monday by Supervising Deputy Attorney General Julianne Mossler alleges that Paz Dominguez failed to file the county’s enacted budgets on time for two consecutive fiscal years — 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 — and failed to no longer filed county financial transaction reports for fiscal years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 “in the time, form, and manner prescribed by the state comptroller.”

The state is asking the court to order Paz Dominguez to pay $10,000 – two fines of $5,000 each – and to order the county to pay $2,000 for these delayed and/or improperly submitted reports. The lawsuit also asks the court to issue a warrant requiring Paz Dominguez to “perform his mandatory statutory duties” and properly submit overdue reports.

News of the trial came as a surprise to Paz Dominguez, who told the Outpost by email on Monday afternoon that she was unaware and had not received a copy.

“I have no comment on a lawsuit as I have no documents to reference,” she wrote. “I’ll have to check with the CAD [County Administrative Office] regarding the submission of budgets as this is something that the CAO has historically submitted to the SCO [State Controller’s Office] on behalf of the county,” she added.

The state’s lawsuit, however, says it is Paz Dominguez’s responsibility as the county’s auditor-comptroller to file both the county’s enacted budgets and its financial transaction reports.

“The defendant Paz Dominguez is sued in his personal capacity and in his official capacity as auditor-controller for [the] County,” the suit reads. “She is an elected county official, is responsible for the county’s financial records, and is responsible under governmental code sections 29093 and 53891, et seq., for ensuring that the budgets passed by the county and its RTFs are filed within the time, form and manner required by the State Comptroller.

The lawsuit then recounts a succession of missed deadlines, incomplete or incorrectly submitted reports and long failures in the communication of the Office of the Auditor-Comptroller.

For example, the state comptroller’s office sent letters to Paz Dominguez on February 28 informing him that the county’s enacted budget for 2020/2021 had not been received by the December 1, 2020 due date, and that the budget for the following year had not been received by December. 1st 2021, due date, according to the trial. The letters warned that the county would be subject to forfeiture of $1,000 for each of these two “missing” budgets if Paz Dominguez did not file them by March 21.

The state received the budget schedules by that due date, but they were incomplete, according to the lawsuit. “Both sets of schedules lacked the information required by the government code…” the lawsuit says. Budgets did not have opening fund balances and sources of funds did not equal uses of funds, so the state comptroller “discarded incomplete schedules” and has yet to receive the correct versions, according to the complaint.

This is the primary cause of action for the state. The second relates to the county’s overdue 2019/2020 Financial Transactions Report, which has been the subject of argument and speculation at recent meetings of the Board of Supervisors. Financial transaction reports show all of a county’s financial transactions for the previous fiscal year.

According to the complaint, the state comptroller’s office first contacted Paz Dominguez about the overdue report on November 6, 2020, followed on February 26, 2021 by a warning that she would face a $5,000 fine. $ if it failed. submit the report by March 18, 2021.

She failed to submit it by the deadline, and on June 1 of last year, the State Comptroller’s Office followed up again.

“Paz Dominguez responded on June 14, 2021, stating that the county’s audit for fiscal year 2019/2020 was in progress, but not yet complete,” the lawsuit states. “Paz Dominguez offered to complete the report using unverified information and indicated that it would take two weeks.” The state comptroller’s office agreed, but Paz Dominguez again missed the deadline.

Almost nine months later, on February 24 of this year, the attorney general’s office sent a final demand letter to Paz Dominguez, giving him 20 days to file the report.

At a March 1 supervisory board meeting, Paz Dominguez said she believed the final demand letter had been sent by mistake, or possibly through an automated process, as her office was working directly with a team from the state comptroller’s office, who had come to town to investigate the county’s financial practices and reports, and they knew nothing about the final request.

However, the attorney general’s office later confirmed that the notice was not sent in error.

According to the lawsuit, Paz Dominguez submitted the overdue financial transactions report on March 16 “and falsely stated that it was prepared by the ‘AG’ and ‘at the direction of the PG'”.

In response, the state comptroller’s office returned the report to Paz Dominguez with an email explaining that the report was deficient and asking him to submit an accurate first and last name and title of the report preparer no later than the close of business on March 23.

“Paz Dominguez did not respond to the SCO email and did not correct his FTR,” the complaint states. The report is now over a year late, and the state’s lawsuit claims that the submission of the “flawed” report “is inexcusable and does not satisfy Paz Dominguez’s legal obligation.” The government code states that she is subject to forfeiture of $5,000, according to the suit.

The county’s 2020/2021 Financial Transactions Report was also not submitted by the January 31 deadline, and on February 25, the State Comptroller’s Office sent Paz Dominguez another letter, the informing her that she was overdue and giving her 20 days to comply. He also warned that failure to submit it by March 17 will result in the forfeiture of another fine of up to $5,000.

“Paz Dominguez did not file her 2020/2021 FTR by the March 17, 2022 deadline, nor has she filed it since then,” the suit states.

In a third cause of action, the state asks the court to issue a warrant order “compelling Paz Dominguez to perform his mandatory statutory duties.”

the Outpost sent Paz Dominguez a copy of the lawsuit. She responded shortly after saying, “I will pass it on to my lawyer and communicate with the SCO. I will not give you any comment because it will be better handled in an official capacity.

You can read the full costume via the link below.

DOCUMENT: California State People and California State Comptroller Betty T. Yee v Karen Paz Dominguez and Humboldt County