The Los Angeles Country Democratic Party — the biggest county party in the United States — doesn’t have a clue how much money it has in the bank and is hoping it will be able to make its payroll. The county party treasurer, Kinde Durkee, was arrested over the weekend and charged with moving substantial sums of money to her personal business account and between the accounts of her clients to cover shortfalls.
“I have been chair for 12 years and she predates me,” Chairman Eric Bauman told TPM in a phone interview Tuesday. “We never had any issues until this last year or so.”Bauman said that several state audits uncovered irregularities, but that Durkee paid the fines herself.
“We’ve always kept a pretty tight rein on what our bank balances were,” Bauman said. “But as anyone that receives financial documents from a treasurer knows, we only see the documents they prepared for us.”
Bauman, who joked that he’d had better days, said the party was in touch with lawyers and the bank and trying to “figure out what the hell we had.”
The party’s bank wouldn’t — or couldn’t — tell him how much money was in party accounts, Bauman said.
He also said that Durkee had her own proprietary software instead of a standardized software, which would have made it difficult for clients to transfer accountants. Bauman said the software “reportedly made logging transactions and reporting them appropriately much easier, so that’s a positive not a negative when you’re talking with a treasurer.”
Bauman said the county party has five employees and raised $200,000 last month.
“I just don’t know if it’s in the bank,” Bauman said.