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Investigations of Improper Activities by State Agencies and Employees
Wasteful and Improper Travel Payments, Improper Promotion and Hiring Practices, and Misuse of State Resources

Report Number: I2019-3

Figure 1
Status of 808 Cases, July 2018 Through December 2018

Figure 1 contains a pie chart showing the status of all 808 cases on which the State Auditor performed some work from July 2018 through December 2018. For 571 cases (71 percent) the cases the State Auditor’s staff found that they lacked sufficient information to conduct an investigation or the cases are pending review. The staff conducted or will conduct work to assess the allegations for 147 of the cases (18 percent). For 37 of the cases (5 percent), the staff requested information from another state agency. The staff referred 28 cases (3 percent) to another agency for investigation and independently investigated 25 cases (3 percent).

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Figure 2
Caltrans Paid $41,695 for the Manager’s Sacramento Travel From February 2016 Through March 2018

Figure 2 breaks down how Caltrans paid $41,695 for the manager’s Sacramento travel expenses from February 2016 through March 2018. For airfare and rental car expenses, Caltrans paid $29,648. For meals and incidentals, Caltrans paid $6,461. For vehicle mileage, Caltrans paid $3,198. For other transportation costs, Caltrans paid $1,745. For lodging, Caltrans paid $643. Caltrans paid a grand total of $41,695 for these expenses. 

Next to the expenditures is a map of the state of California with stars designating the locations of Sacramento and San Diego. The map lists Sacramento as the manager’s headquarters and shows an airplane on course from San Diego to Sacramento. In addition to the list of expenditures, Figure 2 illustrates the individuals involved in the submission and approval of the managers travel claims.  The manager routed her travel claims to her former supervisor for approval who in turn routed the claims to the Travel Branch and Accounting Division for final review and processing. In the foreground of the illustration is the manager’s division chief. The division chief is intentionally blurry in order to depict the fact that the path in which the manager and former supervisor routed the travel expense claims for approval excluded her.

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Figure 3
Caltrans Changed the Manager’s Headquarters Location More Than a Year After Her Permanent Appointment

Figure 3 is a timeline that outlines how Caltrans changed the manager’s headquarter location more than a year after her permanent appointment. The timeline is a straight vertical line containing six bullet points that designate the manager’s headquarter location and travel patterns from 2002 through her retirement from state service in March 2018. The first point covers the years 2002 through 2015 and states that the manager worked at Caltrans’ San Diego office and resided in San Diego County during this period. The second point shows the manager started her limited-term position headquartered in Sacramento in February 2016. She continued to reside in San Diego and commute to Sacramento during this period. The third point shows that Caltrans appointed the manager to her permanent position still headquartered in Sacramento in September 2016. At this time, the manager still resided in San Diego and commuted to Sacramento. The fourth point shows the division chief discovered the manager’s travel expense claims for Sacramento travel in the summer of 2017. At this time, the manager still resided in San Diego, but her travel to Sacramento decreased. The fifth point shows that in December 2017, Caltrans retroactively changed the manager’s headquarters to San Diego with a September 2016 effective date. At this time, the manager resided in San Diego and worked primarily out of the San Diego district office. Lastly, the sixth point states that the manager retired from state service in March 2018.

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Figure 4
The Majority of the Administrator’s Workdays Were Spent in Sacramento and Telecommuting From November 2016 Through January 2018

Figure 4 contains a pie chart showing the percentage of the Administrator’s travel and telecommuting from November 2016 through January 2018. From November 2016 through January 2018, the Administrator spent 48 percent of the workdays working in Sacramento. From November 2016 through January 2018, the Administrator spent 20 percent of the workdays telecommuting without a formal telecommute agreement and 10 percent of the workdays telecommuting with approval for medical reasons. From November 2016 through January 2018, the Administrator spent 19 percent of the workdays at the designated headquarters and 3 percent of the workdays traveling to other state hospitals.

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Figure 5
Two of the Branch Chief’s State Employment Applications Showed Disparate Descriptions of the Same Prior Work Experience

Figure 5 shows an excerpt from two of the branch chief's state employee applications showing disparate descriptions for the same prior work experience. In the first and second state application, the beginning and ending of the employment matches, with the job beginning in 2003 and ending in 2009. However, the title the branch chief listed in the first application was "Salesman" whereas the second application lists the same job with the title “General Manager.”

Hours per week differed as well from 30 hours for the salesman, to 40 in the general manager version. The salary earned also differed significantly from just $11.95 per hour for the salesman to $3,600 per month for the general manager. The branch chief listed the following for the duties he performed as a salesman: "Assisted customers over the phone and in person, utilized store database to search for parts, check-in freight and adjusted quantities in computer." For the general manager version, the branch chief identified the following duties he claimed to perform: “As the General Manager of an independently owned [redacted] store, I oversaw the daily operations of the company's [redacted] location; which included initial hiring, termination, scheduling, and supervision of employees in order to staff the store during business hours. In addition to daily operations oversight, I directed customer outreach and new business development, which included developing sales strategies for high volume customers and negotiating exclusivity agreements with [redacted] shop owners. Analyzed market research on sales trends in order to tailor the store's inventory and maximize profit. Compiled and presented monthly and quarterly sales and earnings to the business' executive management for evaluation of the store's financial health, made recommendations and implemented new strategies further the business' growth. Business' liaison for [redacted], participated in discussions in order to shape the advertising efforts of the business' franchiser.” No reason for leaving was provided in the salesman position. For the general manager, the branch chief stated the following for his reason for leaving: “economic downturn shifted priorities within the company.”

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Figure 6
The Manager Misused State Vehicles to Commute Thousands of Miles From 2016 Through 2018

Figure 6 contains a bar graph showing the yearly total of commute miles the manager drove during 2016, 2017, and 2018 and the cost of those miles.  The y-axis contains commute miles and the x-axis represents the years.  The first bar represents 2016 and shows the manger commuted in a state vehicle from his home to his headquarters a total of 13,997 miles and cost the State $7,558.  The second bar represents 2017 and shows the manger commuted in a state vehicle from his home to his headquarters a total of 9,786 miles and cost the State $5,236.  The third and last bar represents 2018 and shows the manger commuted in a state vehicle from his home to his headquarters a total of 17,965 miles and cost the State $9,791. 

To the right of the bar graph, is the combined total amount of commute miles for 2016, 2017, and 2018 and the total cost of those miles to the State.  The total commute miles the manager drove from 2016 through 2018 was 41,748 at a cost of $22,585.   

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Figure 7
The Administrator Accessed Hundreds of YouTube Videos in Nearly Every Month Reviewed From September 2017 Through June 2018

Figure 7 shows a column chart that displays the number of YouTube videos the administrator accessed each month from September 2017 through June 2018. From September 2017 through June 2018, the three months with the highest views were December 2017, April 2018, and June 2018. The following is a breakdown of each month: September 2017 - 221, October - 202, November - 83, December - 368, January 2018 - 57, February - 248, March - 218, April - 378, May - 135, and June - 346.

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