Improper and illegal activities committed by state employees range from bribery to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, according to a new report from the California State Auditor.
The report, based on nearly 1,500 cases resulting from more than 7,200 whistleblower complaints, was issued Tuesday.
State Auditor Elaine Howle said one scheme cost two state agencies more than $227,000 after employees of the Franchise Tax Board and secretary of state's office accepted bribes from a courier for providing documents.
The three people involved were convicted of bribery, according to the report. The tax board employee worked at the Los Angeles field office, the report stated. The secretary of state employee worked in the same building.
The report (PDF) covered the period from April 2011 to June 2012, detailing nine substantiated allegations.
The auditor also found that a California Department of Education employee posted nearly 5,000 comments on The Sacramento Bee's website – while at work – within the span of one year.
The Bee reported that the employee averaged 25 comments per day, and gave a variety of explanations for why he did so, including not having enough work to do.
The report said the employee also misused time by doing work for a third party while being paid by the state. His supervisor "failed to appropriately supervise the employee, thus enabling the employee's misuse of state time and equipment," according to a state summary of the report.
The report also detailed a total of $118,700 overpaid to 18 employees of the California State Athletic Commission inspectors because they were paid at overtime rates instead of their regular wage.
And a former employee of the Employment Development Department falsified records so her friends could collect $93,000 in fraudulent unemployment payments. The employee and her two accomplices were convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, according to the report.
Several agencies paid employees more than $100,000 in travel benefits that they were not entitled to receive, the report said.
The auditor also described actions taken by state departments to correct problems described in earlier reports from the auditor.