Top lawyer for state parks departs in wake of hidden-funds scandal
The top lawyer for California’s state parks is no longer with the department, a sign of continuing fallout from the hidden-surplus scandal that has engulfed the parks over the last week.
The departure of chief counsel Ann Malcolm was announced in an email to parks staff Wednesday evening. Resources agency spokesman Richard Stapler confirmed that Malcolm is no longer with the parks department but would not discuss any details about her departure.
Malcolm is the latest senior official to leave the embattled department after the revelation of $54 million in park funds that had not previously been accounted for by the governor’s office. The uncovering of those funds led to the resignation of parks director Ruth Coleman and the firing of her chief deputy, Michael Harris.
Malcolm has been with the Parks department since 2010, when Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor. According to an internal newsletter for parks employees, she spent more than two decades in the Resources Agency.
In 1986, she served as a deputy director of the California Conservation Corps before joining the Department of Fish and Game in 1989, eventually becoming the department’s general counsel.
— Anthony York in Sacramento