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Missing money? A Grand Jury says a Central Coast tourism group can't account for more than $500,000

The Santa Barbara County Grand Jury is calling for the Lompoc City Council to take steps to oversee the tourism group.

Where’s the money? That’s the question posed by a new Santa Barbara County Grand Jury report, which looks at the books for a tourism group on the Central Coast.

The issue is with Visit Lompoc LLC. It’s a non-profit organization which uses some special tax revenue to promote business, and tourism in Lompoc. In a new report, the Grand Jury asserts more than am $500,00 hasn’t been properly accounted for, in what it calls underreporting of the funds.

The Grand Jury isn’t alleging wrongdoing, but it says there is a big problem with accounting and oversight. It notes that even after the issues were discovered, Visit Lompoc LLC failed to follow through with supplying an independent financial audit.

The report says the Lompoc City Council needs to take responsibility for oversight, and should evaluate whether the tourism and business enhancement program is working.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.