County auditors had to do some detective work in the District Attorney's office to find a range of missing county property after they were called in to conduct a changing-of-the-guard review triggered by the departure of Bonnie Dumanis to run for the board of supervisors.
"A sample of 30 fixed assets was selected for detail testing," per a May 9 memo from county chief of audits Juan Perez to District Attorney Summer Stephan, appointed by the board of supervisors last summer to succeed Dumanis and elected to the job earlier this month.
But when auditors checked a computerized inventory of the D.A.'s gear, they discovered that out of the 30 items sampled, six pieces of equipment with a combined value of $129,523, including two scanners, a forensic computer, and a Dodge minivan, weren't in their specified places.
"According to the department, some assets were moved by staff without informing the asset coordinator," the report says. "Inaccurate location of assets," notes the audit, "increases the risk of loss or misappropriation of assets."
Although the auditors were finally able to track down all of the property, "the actual physical location was not readily available upon [the Office of Audits and Advisory Services] inquiry," according to the report. Listed in the D.A.’s inventory as being parked at the Hall of Justice, the minivan, valued at $45,128, was found in a Disposal Lot, the report shows.
In the case of keeping proper track of the D.A.’s weaponry, Dumanis also fell short.
"Procedures for the proper use of weapons by investigators and the inventory of issued weapons are in place," according to the document "They adequately describe the process for issuing firearms and provide guidance on proper use of firearms as well as security of firearms in the field."
"However, these procedures do not explicitly address accountability and safeguarding of weapons in storage." Adds the report, "Absence of specific procedures to manage weapons inventory could increase the risk of loss and/or misplacement of these assets."
In an April 28 letter to Perez, the D.A.'s chief of administrative services Michelle Bush said his findings were being taken care of, with an estimated compliance date of July 31.
"Our plan is as follows: (A) Modify our current firearm management policies and procedures to include documentation that specifically addresses detailed procedures for weapons inventory in storage. (B) Provide training on comprehensive policies and procedures to staff."