LOL thanks. As far as "...It's ridiculous that a code enforcement guy would even let sh@# like that go down. " Well they don't inspect the homes here. Not in the Phoenix area anyway. I've never even seen a permit or an inspection for a change out OR a tract home!
As for your sister... you got it right. Leave it as is. When you get a chance pull her charge, vacuum it down really good and charge it with new gas. Because it's a 1 in 10 chance that it got a vacuum pump even ran on it when it was first started up!