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California Official: Bad Mask Deals Lost No Taxpayer Money

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California’s top emergency official is defending the state from scrutiny over high-priced deals that fell apart as officials pursued personal protective equipment. Mark Ghilarducci of the state’s Office of Emergency Services says taxpayers didn’t lose any money on the deals because California was refunded when the agreements went bad. He says the state was doing its best amid a worldwide scramble for protective equipment for the coronavirus pandemic. He spoke during a Monday oversight hearing by Assembly lawmakers who wanted details on the failed deals. California has spent roughly $2.2 billion on 180 contracts for personal protective equipment.