Fresno DA to Review Audit of Nonprofit Tied to Rep. T.J. Cox (D.)

TJ Cox
TJ Cox / Getty Images

Steve Wright, the assistant district attorney in Fresno County, announced on Tuesday that his office was reviewing the audit of a community sports nonprofit, whose treasurer is recently sworn-in Rep. T.J. Cox (D., Calif.).

The nonprofit, the Central Valley Community Sports Foundation, agreed to take over the management of Granite Park in December 2015, despite having an "unfortunate past," according to the Washington Free Beacon.

After Terance Frazier, one of the developers, asked the city to double his $150,000 yearly agreement to take care of the volleyball courts, jogging trails, baseball fields, and other parts Granite Park, the city manager Wilma Quan-Schecter requested an audit to make sure CVCSF was presenting its finances fairly and honestly, according to the Fresno Bee.

"We have previously made the operators of Granite Park aware of changes they need to make in their managerial and accounting practices and are meeting with them next week to talk in greater detail about providing quality sports and recreational programming at Granite Park for the benefit of City residents," Quan-Schecter said in a statement.

She would not get into the specifics on the district attorney’s review, saying it was the city's policy not to discuss investigations.  Frazier withdrew his request to double the yearly agreement back in November in response to the audit and expressed interest in working with the audit team in order to preserve proper accounting procedures.

The Washington Free Beacon reported that CVCSF agreed to invest approximately $2.7 million in renovations and upgrades and would take over the day-to-day operations of the Granite Park. In return, the city agreed to contribute $150,000 annually, which was a little more than they were initially paying out of pocket for annual operations. The audit kicked in last September when CVCSF approached the city six months early for a new installment of $150,000.

It is unclear whether or not Cox is the "bookkeeper" in the audit, but he is listed as the treasurer on the nonprofit's 2015 IRS form 990, the last and only year that the document is available. The 990 filings can sometimes lag by as much as a year and a half so although exigent circumstances may exist, it is reasonable that the CVCSF's 2016 990 should also now be available.

The 990 also indicates Cox worked an average of two hours a week for the organization, but did not receive income.

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Cox did not return a request for comment from the Washington Free Beacon, and does not appear to have provided comment to local media outlets.