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Central Coast non-profit group fires back at Grand Jury report focused on its accounting practices

City of Lompoc

Visit Lompoc officials say inferences that money is improperly accounted for are incorrect.

A non-profit group on the Central Coast which came under fire from a Grand Jury for its accounting practices has wasted no time in responding.

The Santa Barbara County Grand Jury was critical of how the Visit Lompoc organization has handled the reporting of its finances. Visit Lompoc is a business improvement district, in which businesses agree to tax themselves to raise money for things like the promotion of tourism.

The Grand Jury report doesn’t claim there was wrongdoing, but said there was hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue which hasn’t been properly documented.

But, in a statement from Visit Lompoc’s attorney, organization officials say there’s no missing money. They call the report an incorrect interpretation of the books. The statement also address questions about why the organization has $800,000 in a savings account, saying spending money to attract tourists during the pandemic didn’t make sense.

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.