State Auditor: Port Angeles recreation coordinator misappropriated more than $40,000

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A former city recreation coordinator paid $655 instead of $40,775 for services her children received in an after-school program she managed between September 2006 and August 2013, a state Auditor's Office fraud investigation found.

Amber L. Mozingo, who was 40 in October, has not been arrested or charged in the alleged fraud.

She was fired last September after an internal investigation into the estimated $40,120 not paid to the Parks and Recreation Department's after-school program over the course of five years.

The case was forwarded to the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney's Office for consideration of formal charges last October.

The matter is still pending, and there has been no reimbursement to the city by Mozingo.

The prosecutor's office “haven't given us any direction,” Port Angeles Deputy Chief of Police Brian Smith said Monday.

“It will either be set for charging, or maybe sent for diversion.”

He added: “They have a variety of options here.”

Chief Criminal Deputy John Troberg said his office is considering its next steps.

“We got the referral, and we're just thinking about what to do with it,” Troberg said. “We have some options.”

The state Auditor's report released Monday focused on Mozingo's use of services for her children.

As many of four of them participated in the after-school youth program and summer day-camp sessions.

The report disclosed that the city Parks and Recreation Department had inadequate internal controls to safeguard public resources and did not monitor all amounts due for youth services.

“This weakness allowed the misappropriation to occur without being detected in a timely manner,” according to the report.

It contained a recommendation that the city strengthen internal controls over youth programs and ensure that revenue is collected from all participating children.

It also included a recommendation that the city recover the misappropriated $40,120 and related $3,340 in investigation costs from Mozingo and/or its insurance bonding company.

The city “concurs with the outcome” of the investigation and its recommendations, city officials said in response to the investigation as published in the report.

The city's Finance department has assumed the responsibility of billing Parks and Recreation customers.

“Significant effort has also been undertaken to reduce to the greatest extent possible any instances whereby a single individual could have access to multiple parts of a cash receipting transaction without the necessary and proper eternal oversight,” city officials said in the response.

The city has not received any repayment from Mozingo “pending the outcome of any criminal proceeding as well as the result of our claim to the Washington Cities Insurance Authority.”

Port Angeles Police Detective Kevin Spencer conducted the initial investigation.

Spencer's investigation initially found that Mozingo enrolled at least two of her children in the after-school program without paying all the required fees.

The state found she had only paid $655 between September 2006 through August 2013 instead of the $40,775 she should have paid for her children.

Mozingo told a city human resources staffer that she had not paid for her children to attend the after-school and summer day-camp programs since 2007 because of financial troubles, according to the internal report.

The state report found no additional misappropriation in its review of credit card transactions, cash receipting and petty cash activity in the Parks and Recreation Department.

The city is in the final stages of recruiting a new youth programs coordinator as part of a reorganization of the Parks and Recreation Department.



Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 17. 2014 7:42PM
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