That's no doubt news to Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the other California lawmakers who might have lost their campaign war chests in an alleged fraud scheme involving veteran campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee. The California Board of Accountancy says that Durkee and Associates is not licensed and has no licensed accountants on staff. It's been ordered to immediately stop providing accounting services. From the OC Register:
Spokeswoman Lauren Hersh said the board was never aware of Durkee or her company until news broke of her arrest by FBI. She said board got involved when it saw that Durkee's company was described as providing accounting services. The Durkee and Associates' website says "Durkee and Associates is an accounting and business management firm that specializes in political, non-profit and small business accounting and financial management."
From the WSJ:
Democratic officials including Eric C. Bauman, chairman of the Democratic Party of Los Angeles, complained the bank that held the funds refused to release bank statements unless clients signed a waiver promising not to hold the bank, First California Bank, responsible. The bank didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. "We're still trying to find out where the needle stops and just how big a hit this is," said Mr. Bauman. He said "north of $200,000" is missing from his group's accounts--most of the cash it should have on hand. Ms. Durkee, he said, had been the group's treasurer for more than a decade.
Still lots to sort out. A federal criminal complaint says that Durkee admitted to using campaign funds for mortgage payments, cosmetics, and the nursing-home care of her mother, the Journal reported. Durkee "misappropriated money from her clients' bank accounts and filed false disclosure reports to hide the misappropriations," according to the complaint.
From the Durkee website:
We have performed accounting and reporting for political campaigns day-in and day-out since 1972. Accounting, reporting, and compliance management for political campaigns and non-profits is quite different from standard business accounting; we understand the differences because we've specialized in political campaigns. You will benefit from our extensive experience. Our expert service is never compromised by our speedy response to your needs; we simply work to have the quickest "turn-around" time in the business, and the friendly "Durkee & Associates' Spirit" shines through in all that we do.