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The big steal

A Los Angeles–based inspector for the state Industrial Relations Department’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, who chose to live in San Diego and stick taxpayers for the cost of her long-distance commuting, is a prime target of the state auditor’s latest “Investigations of Improper Activities by State Employees” report, issued June 29 and covering 2009.

“During her employment with Cal/OSHA, the inspector lived in San Diego,” the audit report says. “In 2006 and 2007 the inspector received $1,260 in reimbursements for 108 meals when she traveled to and from the Los Angeles area for meetings and other work-related tasks.” Adds the report, “The inspector acknowledged that she frequently did not eat any meals during her commutes from San Diego to the Los Angeles area, yet she still claimed the maximum meal reimbursements.”

That wasn’t the worst of it. The unidentified employee also billed the state for her time while moonlighting to the tune of $264,000 as a trainer for the California State University system and giving speeches at conferences. “The inspector improperly used 1,810 state-compensated work hours at a cost of $67,716 to teach the training courses for the state university and to give presentations for the professional association,” auditors found.

In addition, “She misused a state vehicle on numerous occasions to travel to the course locations.” During the 21 days the staffer taught training courses, she racked up an unauthorized $861 worth of expenses driving her state vehicle. At the same time, she billed the state university system $268 for mileage reimbursements.

The woman’s manager was criticized for letting her get away with it all: “Because Cal/OSHA management did not require the inspector to provide a day-by-day accounting of her work hours, neither the former official nor the manager had any assurance that the time sheets they approved were accurate.” The employee subsequently resigned. “Industrial Relations stated that it was reviewing its options for obtaining reimbursement from the inspector. It further indicated that it was still deciding the appropriate action to take against any individuals involved in the supervision or management of the inspector.”

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San Diablo Allstars, Marujah, J.D. Boucharde, Jenn Grinels, Eve Selis

A Los Angeles–based inspector for the state Industrial Relations Department’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, who chose to live in San Diego and stick taxpayers for the cost of her long-distance commuting, is a prime target of the state auditor’s latest “Investigations of Improper Activities by State Employees” report, issued June 29 and covering 2009.

“During her employment with Cal/OSHA, the inspector lived in San Diego,” the audit report says. “In 2006 and 2007 the inspector received $1,260 in reimbursements for 108 meals when she traveled to and from the Los Angeles area for meetings and other work-related tasks.” Adds the report, “The inspector acknowledged that she frequently did not eat any meals during her commutes from San Diego to the Los Angeles area, yet she still claimed the maximum meal reimbursements.”

That wasn’t the worst of it. The unidentified employee also billed the state for her time while moonlighting to the tune of $264,000 as a trainer for the California State University system and giving speeches at conferences. “The inspector improperly used 1,810 state-compensated work hours at a cost of $67,716 to teach the training courses for the state university and to give presentations for the professional association,” auditors found.

In addition, “She misused a state vehicle on numerous occasions to travel to the course locations.” During the 21 days the staffer taught training courses, she racked up an unauthorized $861 worth of expenses driving her state vehicle. At the same time, she billed the state university system $268 for mileage reimbursements.

The woman’s manager was criticized for letting her get away with it all: “Because Cal/OSHA management did not require the inspector to provide a day-by-day accounting of her work hours, neither the former official nor the manager had any assurance that the time sheets they approved were accurate.” The employee subsequently resigned. “Industrial Relations stated that it was reviewing its options for obtaining reimbursement from the inspector. It further indicated that it was still deciding the appropriate action to take against any individuals involved in the supervision or management of the inspector.”

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1

I hope this is the last theft of public tax money you report, but somehow I suspect it won't be.

In 2000-2001, Cal/OSHA failed to exercise any control over activities at the Lemon Grove SDG&E site known as the Encanto Gas Holder (EGH) facility as it was being decommissioned.

In 2007, the US Attorney's Ofice here obtained criminal convictions in USA V. SDG&E where bulk sample analysis testing showed EGH friable asbestos levels as high as 50%+ in materials that were later scattered as one investigator reported like "shaved white chocolate" in the air at the site. The case was dismissed on retrial*, showing that SDG&E shareholders are getting their money's worth from Sempra Energy's Office of General Counsel.

Hopefully, the resigned Cal/OSHA inspector had nothing to do with the Lemon Grove area at any time in this millennium.

*A blog exists on the potentially unconstitutional exclusion of asbestos testing evidence despite federal law requiring its admission in a National Emission Standards of Hazardous Air Pollutants criminal matter as indicted in 2006.

July 26, 2010

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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