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Report Number : I2017-1

Investigations of Improper Activities by State Agencies and Employees
Misuse of Resources, Inaccurate Attendance Records, Disclosure of Confidential Information, and Improper Payments

March 2, 2017 I2017-1

The Governor of California
President pro Tempore of the Senate
Speaker of the Assembly
State Capitol
Sacramento, California 95814

Dear Governor and Legislative Leaders:

Pursuant to the California Whistleblower Protection Act, the California State Auditor (State Auditor) presents this investigative report summarizing investigations concerning allegations of improper governmental activities that were completed between July 2016 and December 2016.

This report details 10 substantiated allegations involving several state agencies and universities. Through our investigations, we found misuse of state time and resources, failure to keep accurate time and attendance records, disclosure of confidential information, neglect of duty to supervise, and improper payments. In total, we identified almost $40,000 in inappropriate expenditures related to the misuse of state time and resources, inaccurate attendance records, and improper payments.

For example, from January 2016 until July 2016 a parole agent with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation misused a state vehicle for her personal commute at a cost to the State of about $3,800. In addition, since June 2015 the parole agent had improperly stored the vehicle at her home without the required home storage permit. Further, she failed to file monthly reports disclosing her personal use of the vehicle as required, the value of which is taxable income. Finally, the parole agent’s current supervisor purposely did not request a home storage permit for her because he believed she would not have qualified for one.

In addition, an analyst at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) misused state time by regularly taking excessive breaks and extended lunches during her workdays, and she violated state law and a Caltrans directive regarding incompatible activities. We estimated that the analyst misused an average of 130 hours of state time from July 2015 to March 2016 at a cost to the State of about $4,300.

State agencies must report to the State Auditor any corrective or disciplinary action taken in response to recommendations made by the State Auditor. Their first report is due no later than 60 days after we notify the agency or authority of the improper activity and monthly thereafter until corrective action is completed.

Respectfully submitted,

State Auditor

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