Riverside County Board of Supervisors subject of grand jury report

Supervisors' discretionary spending under scrutiny

Riverside Supervisors

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A Riverside County grand jury report finds that a discretionary fund program controlled by the Board of Supervisors needs more oversight.  The grand jury thinks supervisors are using the funds for their own political advantage.

In the 24-page report, without naming names, the grand jury found that supervisors used Community Improvement Designation, or CID, funds to enhance their visibility and name identification with potential voters - by awarding money to pet projects and nonprofit organizations at high profile events, like galas.

The chairman of the Board of Supervisors Jeff Stone maintains -- political gain isn't a factor when determining which projects or non profit organizations get the funding.

"I believe the citizens should be patient and wait for our official response," said Stone.  "We've hired Grover Trask, our former district attorney, to objectively review the grand jury report - and he's already given a preliminary opinion -- there's nothing illegal the county has been doing."

The Board of Supervisors has 90 days to respond to the grand jury report.

The grand jury made 15 recommendations on how to prevent abuse of the funds.

The current county budget has $2.3 million set aside for the program, divided equally among the five supervisors.

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