Calaveras Auditor Says Sheriff Misspent 120k in Cannabis Funds

Under the urgency cannabis ordinance approved last year, cannabis fees in Calaveras County are supposed to be spent on specific items related to enforcement of the program. But on Tuesday, Calaveras County Auditor Controller Rebecca Callen said Sheriff Rick DiBasilio had misspent more than $120,000 of that money, using it instead for criminal investigations, bookings, and other expenses unrelated to the ordinance.

Callen called the revelations embarrassing.

“It jeopardizes and tarnishes the county. It shows the county’s lack of ability to properly handle funds.”

As a result of the sheriff’s actions, the county is now at serious risk of litigation, she added.

DiBasilio disputes the auditor controller’s findings and says the funds were not misspent. But even after a closed session on the subject, Callen did not waver.

“I hope for a corrective action,” Callen said.

This is just the latest controversy to arise over the 2016 urgency ordinance that allowed for cultivation of commercial marijuana in the county. Many are unhappy with the direction things have taken since then and Calaveras -- now brimming with marijuana -- is considering an outright ban on commercial cannabis.


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