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Investigations of Improper Activities by State Agencies and Employees
Wasteful and Improper Travel Payments, Improper Promotion and Hiring Practices, and Misuse of State Resources

Report Number: I2019-3

May 7, 2019
Investigative Report I2019-3

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

Dear Governor and Legislative Leaders:

The California State Auditor, as authorized by the California Whistleblower Protection Act, presents this report summarizing some of the investigations of alleged improper governmental activities that my office completed between July 2018 and December 2018. These cases are in addition to the eight investigations we completed during the same time period and summarized in Investigative Report I2019-2, April 2019.

This report details six substantiated allegations involving several state agencies. Our investigations found wasteful and improper travel payments, improper promotion and hiring practices, and misuse of state resources. In total, we identified about $427,000 in inappropriate expenditures.

In two separate examples, the California Department of Transportation and the Department of State Hospitals each paid for disallowed travel expenses: a manager and an administrator were each allowed to fly from near their respective homes to their state offices in Sacramento where they either were or should have been headquartered. These two cases resulted in combined waste and improper payments of nearly $90,000.

In another case, a senior management employee with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife dishonestly represented his work experience and received a promotion to branch chief for which he was not qualified. The employee received $234,717 in compensation through December 2018 as a result of his improper promotion.

State agencies must report to my office any corrective or disciplinary action taken in response to recommendations we have made. Their first reports are due within 60 days after we notify the agency or authority of the improper activity, and they continue to report monthly thereafter until they have completed corrective action.

Respectfully submitted,

California State Auditor

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