The latest report from the California Bureau of State Audits has unearthed over half a million dollars of taxpayer funds being spent on mail fraud, bribery, and improper overtime that was reported by KCRA out of Sacramento, Ca.
White-blowers spearheaded the investigation that showed a healthy variety of abuses. KCRA reports:
Those overpayments to 18 different inspectors included amounts ranging from $666 to $25,257. KCRA 3 asked state officials how they could miss such massive overpayments.
“The understanding that we had was because these individuals are state employees, that we required to pay them premium time, which is time and a half,” said Russ Heimerich, a spokesman with the California Department of Consumer Affairs, which oversees the State Athletic Commission.
Heimerich said his department asked the auditor to look into the suspicious payments. He told KCRA 3 the inspectors are now required to reimburse the state for the overpayments.
The auditor also found other abuses, at other agencies, involving for example, $53,800 in unnecessary goods and services for the Department of Fish and Game, including $5,000 in Home Depot gift cards.
“We hear of these cases over and over again of misuse, fraud and waste in state government and certainly there’s a lot more going on,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association in Sacramento. “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”