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Stockton To Be Audited Over Budget Deficit

STOCKTON (CBS13) - State Controller John Chiang says he intends on getting the truth as to how the city of Stockton could be so suddenly in deep debt.

"Suddenly, we're seeing deficits in the realm of $100 million. That didn't appear overnight, something had to happen," said Chiang.

It happened, he says, in just one year, at least, according to documents from the city of Stockton, which reported to be financially healthy in the 2008-2009 fiscal year. However, the very next year the city and its redevelopment agency reported that gaping $100 million deficit. Now, the city faces chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Chiang doesn't even have a current financial snapshot of Stockton. In this letter notifying Stockton's city manager of the investigation, Chiang highlights the city is months late in handing over its latest financial information, in violation of state law.

"That could be a slippery slope or that may be nothing, but we want to make sure we get behind the numbers to see what'd actually taking place," said Chiang.

Today a spokesperson for Stockton Mayor Ann Johnston said they had received the letter, but had no comment on the investigation.

Chiang says his audit will bring not only a microscope, but help for a city teetering on bankruptcy.

"We're going in there with a fresh set of eyes and independent judgment to explain to the public what's actually happening" said Chiang.

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