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Copyright 2003 McClatchy Newspapers, Inc. All Rights Reserved Sacramento Bee (California) September 18, 2003 Thursday METRO FINAL EDITION SECTION: MAIN NEWS; Pg. A3 LENGTH: 528 words HEADLINE: Audit details state worker misdeeds; Tips to a state hotline uncover a stolen forklift, embezzled funds and more. BYLINE: John Hill Bee Capitol Bureau BODY: One state worker embezzled $256,000 in money and goods from the University of California, Los Angeles, including a $974 digital recording system apparently intended for her musician husband. Another misappropriated $622,776 from the California Department of Transportation by ordering computer equipment that never got delivered. Still another stole a truck and a forklift from the Lanterman Development Center in Pomona to move palm trees and granite pillars on his property. So goes the inventory of shame contained in a semiannual report released Wednesday by State Auditor Elaine Howle. The report carries the dry title "Investigations of Improper Activities by State Employees." But inside are tales of greed, incompetence and plain old stupidity. Howle is required by law to produce the report twice a year, the result of tips to the state's Whistleblower Hotline (800) 952-5665, or (866) 293-8729 for the hearing impaired, letters and visits to the auditor's office. Howle said her staff has seen a significant increase in the number of tips since it started advertising the hotline in state offices last year under the provisions of a new law by Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough. Since 1993, the auditor has identified $13.3 million in improper governmental activity. Seven state workers have been convicted of crimes, 55 have been fired

Page 2 Audit details state worker misdeeds; Tips to a state hotline uncover a stolen forklift, embezzled funds and more. Sacramento Bee (California) September 18, 2003 Thursday and 155 reprimanded. Howle is required by statute to keep the names of the state workers confidential, so the report is filled with cryptic identifiers such as "employee A" and "company 1." The new report features the case of a worker at UCLA's School of Medicine. The investigation found that she had logged onto the employee database under her subordinates' identities and created unauthorized payments to herself. She also used school funds to buy two computers and other things for herself, as well as the recording system apparently meant for her husband. UCLA fired her in March 2002 and referred the matter to the university police. The Caltrans worker - "employee A" - made an arrangement with an outside company to maintain a bank account off the state's books, the report says. She did this by getting the state to pay for equipment that the company never delivered. The $622,776 thus misappropriated was used by the employee to correct errors she had made on previous purchases, pay for computer training for other employees and buy emergency equipment. The company charged the state $68,505 to maintain the account, the report says, and neither the company nor the worker could fully account for all the state's money. Caltrans transferred the worker pending its review of the case and referred the matter to law enforcement. In the Lanterman case, the worker told investigators that he used a truck to take the forklift to his house. At one point, he said, his immediate supervisor drove by his house and saw "what looked like a forklift covered up in the driveway." The worker said that his boss told him to do a better job of hiding it, the report says. The worker pleaded guilty to felony grand theft auto and was sentenced to 142 days in jail. * * * The Bee's John Hill can be reached at (916) 326-5543 or jhill@sacbee.com GRAPHIC: Jackie Speier The state's Whistleblower Hotline is posted in state offices under her law. LOAD-DATE: September 9, 2008