SACRAMENTO (AP) — Gov.-elect Jerry Brown is eliminating the office that acted as a watchdog overseeing the spending of federal stimulus money in California.

Inspector General Laura Chick sent a letter Monday saying the incoming administration will close her office, which was created less than a year ago.

Brown’s transition team released a statement saying the move will save more than $700,000 in the current fiscal year.

Chick says the closure was unexpected. More than half the $27 million that has been awarded to state agencies as of Sept. 30 has not yet been spent.

She says Brown faces an “extremely difficult job in grappling with the severity of the state budget crisis.”

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed the former Los Angeles controller to the $148,000-a-year post in April.

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