The $1 million that mysteriously went missing from the San Diego Police Department’s budget was nothing more than a clerical mistake, the city auditor announced Friday.
In May, the U-T Watchdog turned up the million-dollar discrepancy while perusing SDPD reports to the U.S. Treasury and Justice Department.
The documents showed that in 2010, the department had a closing balance of $1,153,426 in seized assets, but just one year later, the closing balance was $153,426. Officials could find no explanation for where the money went.
The federal government gave the funds in question to the SDPD under a program that redirects assets seized from criminals to local law enforcement.
The inconsistency was brought to the city council’s audit committee, which tasked City Auditor Eduardo Luna with conducting an independent investigation into the million dollars’ disappearance.
Luna came to the same conclusion as City Comptroller Rolando: the million bucks was not lost but instead misreported.
According to Luna, an associate management analyst from the SDPD made a error while typing in financial data into an electronic version of the report.
He said an independent review by the comptroller’s office would have caught the mistake.
To prevent an incident like this from happening again, Charvel recommended that all federal reports be reviewed by his office.