Auditor Finds Several State Agencies Misused State Resources

State Auditor Elaine Howle on May 7 released a report on government employees misusing state resources, including wasteful spending by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

Caltrans “improperly and wastefully” paid $41,695 for a manager to travel from her home in San Diego to Sacramento, her intended headquarters location, the auditor reported.

Other misuses of tax dollars cited by the auditor:

  • As a result of mismanagement, the Department of State Hospitals improperly designated an administrator’s headquarters. As a result, from November 2016 through January 2018, the department wasted nearly $47,800 in excessive travel costs for the administrator to travel to work.

  • The California Department of Fish and Wildlife improperly promoted two senior management employees to positions as branch chiefs. One deliberately misrepresented his past supervisory experience and received $234,717 from the date of his improper appointment through December 2018. In the second instance, the department circumvented the competitive process when it promoted an employee.

  • A manager at the Department of Business Oversight provided an employee with the majority of the interview questions for a vacant analyst position before the employee’s interview for the position. The employee’s eventual appointment to the position was not valid because it was not made or accepted in good faith. The employee received $22,670 during her unlawful tenure as an analyst.

  • A California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation manager misused state vehicles for his personal commute from his residence to the correctional facility where he was headquartered, resulting in nearly 42,000 commute miles and an estimated cost to the state of $22,585. The auditor identified at least five other supervisors or managers in correctional facilities who routinely misused state vehicles for commuting purposes, for an estimated cost of nearly $58,000. In total, the misuse cost the state an estimated $80,000. In a separate case, an administrator in the education program at Valley State Prison accessed thousands of YouTube videos unrelated to his work on his state‑issued computer during work hours.

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