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Investigations of Improper Activities by State Agencies and Employees
Misuse of State Time, Economically Wasteful Activities, and Misuse of State Property

Report Number: I2018-1



The Critical Role of Whistleblowers

Whistleblowers are critical to ensuring government accountability and public safety. Under state law, anyone who reports an improper governmental activity is a whistleblower and is protected from retaliation. An improper governmental activity is any action by a state agency or by a state employee performing official duties that does the following:

Ways That Whistleblowers Can Report Improper Governmental Activities

Reports can be made by calling the toll-free Whistleblower Hotline (hotline) at (800) 952-5665, by mail, or through the State Auditor's website at

Investigation of Reports

The State Auditor confidentially investigates reports of improper governmental activity by state agencies and state employees. The State Auditor may conduct an investigation independently or it may elect to have another state agency perform the confidential investigation under its supervision.

Actions That May Be Taken When the State Auditor Finds Improper Governmental Activities

If an investigation establishes that an improper governmental activity has occurred, the State Auditor may take one or more of the following actions:

The State Auditor performs no enforcement functions: this responsibility lies with the appropriate state agency, which is required to regularly notify the State Auditor of any action taken, including disciplinary action, until final action has been taken.

The Protection of Whistleblowers

State law protects state employees who blow the whistle on improper governmental activities. The State Auditor will protect a whistleblower's identity to the maximum extent authorized by law. Retaliation by a state employee against a state employee who files a report is unlawful and may result in monetary penalties and imprisonment.

Corrective Actions Taken in Response to Investigations

The chapters of this report describe the corrective actions that state agencies implemented on certain cases for which the State Auditor completed investigations from July 2017 through June 2018. In addition, Table A summarizes all corrective actions that state agencies took in response to investigations from the time that the State Auditor opened the hotline in July 1993 until June 2018. Furthermore, these investigations have resulted in many state agencies modifying or reiterating their policies and procedures to prevent future improper activities.

Table A
Corrective Actions
July 1993 Through June 2018
Convictions 12
Demotions 22
Job terminations 88
Resignations or retirements while under investigation* 27*
Pay reductions 58
Reprimands 340
Suspensions without pay 32
Total 579

Source: State Auditor.

* The State Auditor began tracking resignations and retirements in 2007, so this number includes only those that occurred during investigations since that time.

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