COSTA MESA (CBSLA.com) — An Orange County lawmaker said Thursday he has “no confidence” in Caltrans’ spending practices after a state auditor found the agency approved the time sheets of an engineer who played golf for 55 workdays while on the clock.
The report dated Aug. 2015 (PDF) from the California State Auditor found the unidentified engineer was paid for working the day shift despite playing golf for part of 55 workdays between Aug. 2012 to March 2014.
The engineer was later reassigned, but he was not directly supervised from early May 2014 to early June 2014 due to
“a failure in communication between two senior transportation engineers,” according to the report.
While Caltrans district management was unable to determine exactly where the engineer was how much work – “if any” – was actually performed during this period, a district manager directed the senior transportation engineer to approve the time sheets, the report found.
In a statement, State Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) described the report as “another example of desperately needed reform” at Caltrans.
“How can we ask Californians to pay more for road repair without fixing Caltrans?” said Moorlach. “We have no confidence that Caltrans is spending money properly.”
The report comes on the heels of another study conducted by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) which found Caltrans to be overstaffed by 3,300 employees at an estimated cost to taxpayers of $500 million annually.
A 2012 investigation by CBS2’s David Goldstein found Caltrans employees drinking alcohol while on the job and doing crossword puzzles. Several veteran employees were suspended as a result of the investigation.