SEPTEMBER 21, 2007
A whistleblower hotline in one major state has exposed the waste of millions of taxpayer dollars as well as serious misconduct among public employees, including some who for years operated profitable private businesses on state time.
The California hotline annually receives about 4,000 calls and letters that help state auditors crack down on the rampant waste and fraud within numerous public agencies as well as individual employees who often get criminally prosecuted or disciplined.
The auditor publishes a report twice a year outlining the abuse within the various agencies. The most recent one was released this week and highlights how the California Highway Patrol wasted nearly $1 million in taxpayer money to purchase 51 vans that have been mostly unused for more than two years.
Other highlights include an Employment Development Department worker who used public time and resources to run a catering business, a motor vehicle employee who illegally allowed friends to circumvent the state registration and payment process and a public university official who illegally viewed 1,400 pornography images on state-owned computers during work.
The report concludes with an informative, at-a-glance chart of the various ongoing investigations and the outcome of those which have been completed. Agencies include the Department of Corrections, Department of Education, Department of Consumer Affairs and Department of Conservation.
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