State Report of Butte County Community Action Agency’s Management Responsibility Returns Clean Bill of Health [Press Release]

Friday, Apr 27, 2018

CAA Great NewsThe Community Action Agency of Butte County has received a favorable report by the state revealing “no significant issues” with grant fund use.

Chico, CA, April 25, 2018 – The Community Action Agency of Butte County (CAA), which has operated their Esplanade House Program for 27 years along with other key community programs, has received a positive conclusion to a comprehensive on-site review and audit conducted by the California Department of Community Services and Development (CSD) in February 2018.  CSD’s official report was issued on April 20, 2018, and identified no significant findings. CAA is in compliance with all Federal and State laws and regulations and has therefore been cleared of accusations of wrongdoing.

The audit was a result of a recent “whistleblower” complaint alleging mismanagement within the Agency. Since October CAA and its CEO, Tom Tenorio, had undergone criticism by a few representatives of the Esplanade House Children’s Fund (EHCF), a separate nonprofit organized to raise funds for the CAA program.  In response to the complaint the State concluded: “CSD’s Audit Team focused on Mr. Tenorio’s expenditures and costs related to Agency business as well as an overall look at Butte’s financial position. Generally, CSD found no issues with Butte’s accounting practices and charges to CSD for travel were supported.” In its report, CSD repeatedly states that CAA’s internal controls, policies and procedures are adequate and reasonable.  In addition, the State indicates that no evidence was found suggesting that Mr. Tenorio abuses the agency’s finances.  Finally, the State expresses that CAA’s financial condition is reasonable with little debt. 

Douglas Benander, Chairman of the Board of CAA noted “The CAA Board of volunteer professionals have spent valuable monthly meetings reviewing and deliberating continuous allegations from the EHCF, each of which has proven to be unsubstantiated and based on distortions or complete falsehood. The State Report findings are yet more evidence that their claims have always been false. After thorough review and analysis, the Board holds continued confidence in our leadership and management of the CAA and Esplanade House.  We look forward to pursuing our mission without distraction”

Mr. Tenorio commented “We were confident of the outcome of the audit. Our Agency and programs are regularly and rigorously audited and monitored. We have always had favorable reports because that is our commitment to excellent service and accountability. While this has been an unnecessarily distracting time for CAA and our Esplanade House Program, we have continued to serve families in need and are confident in the future of the program under CAA’s leadership. We are committed to helping families change their lives and to work with all of our great community partners who support these and other important programs that the CAA operates including Energy Services and our North State Food Bank.”

Read the CSD's Whistleblower Investigative Report here.

About The Esplanade House

Since 1991 The Esplanade House has been serving at risk families with children to help them transition from homelessness or living in a shelter, to being equipped and able to live on their own. For every family the program provides: housing; intensive case management for the adults and each child; tutoring and afterschool programs for the children; drug and alcohol counseling; life skills classes; and support groups to aid recovery. For more information visit online at www.buttecaa.com/esplanade-house/  

About Community Action Agency of Butte County, Inc.

Since 1967, the Community Action Agency of Butte County Agency has existed to provide hope to people struggling with poverty to help them become more self-sustaining by meeting tangible needs in the areas of energy savings, affordable food, and housing.  Programs operate include: Energy and Environmental Services; Food & Nutrition; and the Esplanade House. For more information visit www.buttecaa.com.