California Prison Agency Spent $12,000 on Retirement Party

A California prison agency spent $12,000 in public funds on a retirement party for a longtime manager, The Sacramento Bee reported.

The Prison Industry Authority, which trains inmates for technical careers, paid for food, equipment, supplies and luxury portable restrooms for the January 25 luncheon for Chuck Pattillo, who retired the following week.

Inmates in a prison culinary program prepared lasagna, salad and dessert for 300 guests, and approximately 24 agency employees took time out of two workdays to prepare a Folsom State Prison warehouse for the event, serve food and clean up the space.

The biggest expenditure for the party was the $5,731 rental of two three-restroom stalls from a vendor that specializes in “upscale” portable toilets. Taxpayers additionally paid $2,613 for tables, chairs, heaters and serving equipment; $2,121 for plastic utensils and table centerpieces; and $987 for food.

The state agency used state vehicles to shuttle guests from the parking lot to the warehouse where the party was held.

Attendance at the party was free, but emails were sent to agency employees soliciting gifts for Patillo. In one email, Prison Industries Manager Kelly Condon wrote: “The luncheon is free … Dig deep in your pockets for the gift you cheapskates.”

The state is investigating the use of tax dollars for the party. (Source: The Sacramento Bee, October 16.)

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