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Baldwin Park Finance Director Lorena Quijano presented her resignation last week, amid heavy criticism over the way Police department costs were presented recently, now that dismantling the organization is being discussed by city officials.
Patch attempted to interview Quijano for this story, but calls to her office and a visit to the City Council went unanswered.
According to Councilwoman Marlen Garcia, Quijano said the official reason for her resignation was a job offer in a city west of Los Angeles. Her last day of work would be later this month.
However, Greg Tuttle, a resident of the city, said that the reason behind Quijano's resignation was her refusal to correct the numbers presented recently as operating costs of the Police Department.
According to Tuttle, who prepared a formal complaint with the California Board of Accountancy, there was evidence that Quijano had altered reports on the city budget, inflating Police costs.
Councilman Ricardo Pacheco also questioned and expressed concern on the numbers that were presented, during a council meeting in November.
Yesterday the Councilmember reaffirmed his position. "I have a real concern and I brought up question about the way they were costing the Police department. I think it was inaccurate," said Pacheco to Patch.
Pacheco also expressed concern about the Finance Director leaving at "a critical time like this" and when the city is going through several economic challenges.
Currently, the city is conducting a study to contract the services of the Los Angeles County Sheriff and dismantle the police force, to address a projected budget deficit of more than $1 million for the coming fiscal year.
According to a preliminary report submitted by the administration (attached to this story), the costs of maintaining the police department could amount to $19.4 million for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, while the Sheriff's services would cost $14.7 million.
Quijano's resignation follows William Galvez's, the Public Works Director who left his position in June.
City Administrator Officer, Vijay Singhai, told Patch that Galvez cited personal matters as the reason for his departure. To date, a new Public Works Director has not been hired.