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FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KMPH) -
The report comes about a month after the Central California SPCA said it would terminate its contract with the city and county on October 1st, amidst scrutiny over its closed-door policy.
In its report, the Grand Jury says:
-The SPCA should be more transparent and accountable to taxpayers, since the city and county provide more than half of its operating funds
-The city and county should have a representative on the SPCA's board of directors
-And the SPCA should be audited; something that hasn't happened in ten years
"I do feel folks who have been calling for transparency should feel vindicated by what's contained here in this report," Clint Olivier, Fresno City Council Member, said.
During its investigation, the Grand Jury requested the SPCA provide copies of financial records, audit reports, agendas and minutes, and euthanasia and adoption reports.
The SPCA denied the request, saying: "It did not have the staff to fulfill the request and was not required to comply."
"They've chosen not to participate in the public discourse. They've chosen not to participate in the Grand Jury investigation. They've chosen ultimately not to participate in animal control in our community and I find that regrettable," Olivier said.
SPCA spokesperson Beth Caffrey released this statement to KMPH News:
"It's obvious that the Grand Jury failed to realize we are not a public agency, even though it was stipulated in a letter we sent to the foreman back in December. At that time, we informed them that we are a private corporation. Therefore, being a private corporation, we are not subject to Grand Jury investigations and to the Brown Act and to being audited by outside agencies."
On Friday, city and county leaders will hold their first animal control task force meeting to figure out where they go come October.
This is the fourth time the Grand Jury has investigated the Central California SPCA in the last 20 years.
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