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CITIZEN ACTION DEFENSE FUND PUSHES BACK ON STATE AUDITOR’S RESPONSE ON MISMANAGEMENT OF JUVENILE PROGRAMS

Group advocates for state auditor to start performance and financial audits as soon as possible.

Olympia, Washington — August 3, 2023 — Today, the Citizen Action Defense Fund (CADF) sent a letter to State Auditor Pat McCarthy in their second attempt to compel her to run financial and performance audits of the King County Prosecutor’s Office Juvenile Division (KCPAO) and affiliated non-profit juvenile justice organizations. An initial letter was sent to formally submit the request on July 25, 2023. In it, CADF requested the audits in response to multiple media reports that the organizations themselves have little accountability in terms of fund allocation or the results of the programs-  cutting victims and their families out of the process and posing a significant public safety concern for the region.

State Auditor McCarthy responded to CADF’s initial request on July 27, 2023 and stated that she would consider the concerns outlined in the letter “as part of the risk assessment we conduct when planning audits.” She also noted that King County’s next regular accountability audit is scheduled to begin this Fall with a likely completion date of “late Spring 2024.”

In his response letter today, CADF Executive Director Jackson Maynard outlined his concerns with this approach. An accountability audit would be too narrow in scope, had likely failed previously to catch the problems with the programs, and waiting until next Spring to see the results would take too long too long given the importance of this issue. Maynard requested that the state auditor reconsider the use of an accountability audit and instead initiate performance and financial audits as soon as possible. 

“Each day that these diversion programs continue to operate under mismanagement is another day that public safety is put a risk, victims are less likely to receive justice, and the juveniles referred to the programs fail to receive the services required,” Maynard stated in the letter. “Delay of a comprehensive review of this matter is intolerable – the human and financial costs are simply too high to wait.” 

CADF is an independent, nonprofit organization based in Washington state that supports and pursues strategic, high-impact litigation in cases to advance free markets, restrain government overreach, and defend constitutional rights. The government-watchdog nonprofit files lawsuits, represents affected parties, intervenes in cases when the state enacts laws that violate the state or federal constitutions, and steps in when government officials take actions that infringe upon the First Amendment or other constitutional rights, or when agencies promulgate rules in violation of state law.

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For more information:

Jackson Maynard, Executive Director

Phone: (850) 519-3495; [email protected]

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