City audit of Granite Park calls management's internal controls "deficient to nonexistent"
An audit of the development company that revitalized Granite Park found what could be described delicately as “Bookkeeping errors”. The audit itself called Granite Park’s management team’s internal controls “deficient to nonexistent.”
Back in 2015, the Central Valley Community Sports Foundation offered to take over management of Granite Park from the City and put $2.7 million into revitalization of the park. In return, the city would pay $150,000 each year for programs for the park.
Suddenly, the Sports Foundation asked for another $150,000 - double the amount originally negotiated.
That’s what sparked the audit.
“We went to the city requesting more money because it takes a lot to run a park. It takes a lot of money to run a park, and so the initial money they gave us, of course, that was operations, but that only covers six months of operations,” said Chris Seals, a General Manager of Granite Park.
Day-to-day at granite park has been going on as-regular.
“Everything, as far as the park, has been going great. The community is still coming out. We hold tournaments every day. As you can see, we’re running league tonight,” said Seals.
The issue is with the central valley community sports foundation, the non-profit that manages the park’s development.
Terance Frazier is CVCSF’s president.
Sammy Franco, a former partner of Frazier’s, is the one who called for the public records request of the audit.
Franco said on the phone Friday he backed out of working with Frazier when he started to notice Frazier was getting money from the city for programs that weren’t operating.
“They can say the money was spent on the park, but they can’t prove it,” Franco told FOX26 News.
The City’s audit looked over financial statements from January 1st 2016 through July 31st 2018.
The audit found that CVCSF’s financial statements didn’t show any expenses before 2017, and even those didn’t have adequate documentation.
In 2017 and 2018, the city says only 20% of CVCSF’s transactions are supported by documentation – that’s over a million dollars unaccounted for.
The audit gives examples of documents provided that were insufficient, listing off “invoices that did not match the amount paid; expense reimbursement forms that didn’t show receipts for what they were paying back; or proof that expense was even appropriate; and at one point a hand-written sheet of paper listing staff members’ hours worked.
Plus, the audit covers several issues with loans.
In one instance, the City states a corporate officer of the sports foundation who is also the chief operating officer of Central Valley NMTC leant the sports foundation money through his other organization.
That officer is California Representative TJ Cox.
But when the Sports Foundation paid the money back, it went directly to Cox, not to the CVNMTC.
FOX26 News reached out to Representative Cox Friday, but got no response.
FOX26 News also reached out to Terance Frazier, and left a voicemail asking for him to answer a few questions about the audit.
Frazier responded with a text, saying
CVCSF is proud of our work to revitalize Granite Park into a state of the art sports facility for a community that has long been forgotten. After years of neglect, we took over the park and turned it into a first class public recreational facility that’s used by thousands of residents each month – and at a fraction of the cost to taxpayers to operate and maintain. We invite everyone to come see what’s been accomplished with our ballfields and soccer fields. We are going to get back to work providing a first-class sports center for thousands of Fresno families.
FOX26 News replied to that text, “That’s the statement you’d like provided today, Mr. Frazier? You don’t want to address the audit at all?”
Mr. Frazier did not respond.