Your tax dollars at work

The Bureau of State Audits regularly investigates whistleblowers’ complaints of “improper governmental activity.” The following 10 substantiated complaints are detailed in its report Investigations of Improper Activities by State Employees: January 2005 Through June 2005. Something fishy going on in your corner of the state bureaucracy? Try the toll-free whistleblower hotline: (800) 952-5665.

1 A supervisor at the California Military Department embezzled $132,523 in state funds by linking his family members to the Social Security numbers of former military personnel.

2 A branch of the Department of Health Services improperly paid a contractor and its employees for holiday time equaling $57,788.

3 The Department of Corrections released employees to work on union business for 10,980 hours—worth $395,256—that it did not charge against a bank of hours donated by union members.

4 A Department of Forestry and Fire Protection conservation-camp manager failed to document project costs and payments adequately and allowed monies to be held by vendors instead of in the state treasury.

5 An executive in the Employment Development Department used state resources and employees to help him write and publish his book—equaling $7,930 in state wages lost.

6 A Department of Corrections employee changed the location of her headquarters on her travel claims and received $5,072 in commute- and travel-related costs that she was not entitled to.

7 An official at the University of California, Los Angeles, planned seven business trips to include layovers that let her visit her relatives, costing UCLA more than $1,000 in additional flight costs.

8 A California State University, Northridge, employee used state resources and time to perform paid personal projects for other CSUN employees.

9 A Department of Developmental Services employee violated state conflict-of-interest laws by contracting with a state vendor while employed by the state.

10 A supervisor at the California Department of Transportation inappropriately used state equipment to view sexually explicit material and to share that material with his subordinates.