A new investigative audit of state government in California details several incidents of embezzlement, false statements, and mismanagement among several of the state’s government agencies.
The report, released December 23 by state auditor Elaine Howle, details ten “substantial allegations” against California state employees, including “theft of state funds, waste of public resources, improper headquarters designations and improper travel expenses, and incompatible activities,” among others.
The report was prepared under the California Whistleblower Protection Act, which authorizes the state auditor to conduct investigations into misconduct by state agencies and officials.
Among the findings released in the audit, a manager at the State Water Resources Control Board allegedly embezzled $3,500 after recycling surplus state property while representing the Board. When the embezzlement was discovered, the manager allegedly tried to cover up the theft, and eventually repaid $2,500 to the Board–$1,000 less than what had been taken. An employee of the California Department of Water Resources pocketed $1,300 by similarly recycling surplus state property without permission.
The report also charges the California Military Department with failing to keep an accurate inventory at the Camp Roberts training facility, resulting in a loss of inventory valued at $33,400. The report notes that after three years, “the Military Department still has not completed its effort to ensure accountability for state inventory.”
Perhaps the most egregious allegation described in the report is one directed against a Department of Industrial Relations employee who allegedly worked a second full-time job without the knowledge of his supervisors. The employee allegedly lied to his boss about his need to work from home, working less than the 40 hours per week the agency required of him.
“Although he was not an hourly employee, we estimated that the State may have paid the employee at least $12,200 for time when he was not available to perform his job,” the report states. What’s worse, “Due to the manager’s lax supervision of the employee, however, Industrial Relations was unable to determine how much work the employee actually performed.”
An executive manager at the auditor’s office told Breitbart News that state governmental agencies are required to follow up on investigations within 30 days.
“Each agency has responded to each one of the investigations and we’ve notated what they plan to do to take corrective action,” Margarita Fernandez, Public Affairs chief for the state auditor’s office, said.