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Audit Criticizes Oakland For Not Collecting More Illegal Dumping Fines

OAKLAND (KCBS) - Oakland's Department of Public Works collected just a fraction of the fines it issued for illegal dumping from 2006 to 2009.

The city's auditor summed up that it was anything but an effective use of Oakland's resources.

KCBS' Bob Melrose Reports:

"Writing citations that you know that you're not going to collect and that are recording revenue on the financial statements that you will never receive is not an effective method to deter illegal dumping," declared Oakland Auditor Courtney A. Ruby.

During the years audited by Ruby, Oakland issued $900,000 in fines for illegal dumping. Only $11,000 was collected, though the department listed the full amount as collections on its books, anyway.

Some in city management defended the practice, arguing citations were historically issued as a deterrent, with little expectation that the fine would actually be collected.

Not good enough, maintained Ruby.

"So what I'm saying is this is not an effective use of valuable taxpayer dollars and the administration needs to be aware of the economy, efficiency and effectiveness in every dollar that they're spending on behalf of the citizens. And this audit clearly demonstrates that this is not an effective program."

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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