SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Hundreds of thousands of tax-payers' dollars have been squandered on a plan to build an adventure park on the grounds of a historic state-run veterans home in Northern California.
California State Auditor Elaine Howle said in a report released Thursday that the administrator of the Veterans Home of California in Yountville wasted more than $650,000 working to build a nearly 200-acre park and for a contract to operate a cafe and a tavern on the site.
"The administrator's actions in executing two specific contracts demonstrated her disregard for state contracting rules and the importance of using funds reserved specifically for veterans in a prudent manner," Howle wrote.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Peter Gravett acknowledged the problems cited in the audit and said the department would now be reviewing all expenditures for veterans homes.
"It is clear that poor decisions were made," Gravett said Thursday in a statement. "The individuals who are the subjects of the BSA report are no longer employed by CalVet."
The administrator, who was not named in the audit, is no longer employed by the Veterans' Affairs Department.
The adventure park's primary attraction was to have been a sprawling zip-line tour snaking across the scenic property, situated in the heart of the state's Napa Valley wine-growing region. The park would have featured seven zip lines linked together by a series of platforms and footpaths. It would also have included an observation deck, trails for mountain biking and hiking and a lake path.
Dec. 5, 2013: House Speaker John Boehner speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill.AP
Payments to doctors, the price of milk, long-term jobless benefits and more are all on the line this week as lawmakers scramble to beat several end-of-year deadlines -- and all by Friday.
Though Dec. 31 is still a few weeks away, congressional sources say the House plans to adjourn at the end of this week. With the Senate returning from its latest recess on Monday, that leaves just five days when both chambers are in session.