- - Tuesday, September 13, 2011


State acts against firm in political scandal

LOS ANGELES — State regulators Tuesday ordered a company tied to hundreds of thousands of dollars in missing political funds to stop providing accounting services, after authorities discovered the firm is not licensed and has no certified accountants on staff.

Burbank, Calif.-based Durkee & Associates managed the books for scores of Democratic candidates and political committees, and its website advertised “expert” accounting for campaigns. But the state Board of Accountancy warned in a letter that the company could face fines unless it stops claiming to provide professional accounting work, because the company and its employees are not licensed to do so.

Kinde Durkee, who runs the firm, was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of fraud after federal prosecutors said she looted nearly $700,000 from a state Assembly campaign.

Other Democratic officials, including U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, suspect they are victims. Eric Bauman, who heads the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, said at least $200,000 is missing, and U.S. Rep. Susan A. Davis told her contributors in a letter released Monday that her campaign was looted of about $250,000.


Cantaloupe warning issued after Listeria outbreak

DENVER — Health officials have issued a warning for cantaloupes from a revered melon-producing area of Colorado amid a bacteria outbreak blamed for four deaths in the state and New Mexico, troubling farmers who depend on sales of the fruit.

The warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came after 15 cases of a strain of Listeria were reported from four states, including 11 from Colorado, two from Texas, and one each from Nebraska and Oklahoma. Suspected cases were being investigated in other states.


101-year-old woman evicted in foreclosure

DETROIT — A 101-year-old woman was evicted from the southwest Detroit home where she lived for nearly six decades after her 65-year-old son failed to pay the mortgage.

Texana Hollis was evicted Monday and her belongings were placed outside the home. Her son, Warren Hollis, said he didn’t pay the bill for several years and disregarded eviction notices.

“I kept it from her because I didn’t want to worry her,” Mr. Hollis told WXYZ-TV for a report that aired Monday night. “I was just so sure it wasn’t going to happen.”

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