A Caltrans engineer was playing golf instead of working, according to a new report from the California State Auditor. This happened 55 times between August 2012 to March 2014 — for an estimated four and half hours each day.
“It is not acceptable, it is outrageous,” Caltrans Deputy Director of External Affairs Will Shuck said. “He retired and he’s frankly lucky that he retired.”
Shuck said the employee worked in District 11 in San Diego. He said a fellow employee reported the extracurricular golfing.
According to the report released Thursday, the engineer retired in July 2015 and worked for the district for at least 16 years. A note was made in the employee’s personnel file that he retired during an active investigation.
The report also said a supervisor approved the employee’s time sheets for 19 months without knowing the hours he actually worked. During March of 2014, there was also confusion after the employee was transferred to a different division over who was supervising him for a month.
The report states: “Because neither Supervisor A nor Supervisor B believed that Employee 1 was under his or her respective supervision, neither could verify the accuracy of the weekly time sheets that the engineer submitted for this onemonth period.”
“Part of the reason that went missing is that he wasn’t filing a daily, a daily activity report, which now is required in a way that it wasn’t at the time,” Shuck said.
State Senator John Moorlach said this instance highlights a need for change.
“We’ve got a department that’s inefficient. We’re paying the fourth highest gas tax in the nation and we have the worst roads in the nation,” Moorlach said.
He said a few things could be done.
“Maybe we could have a new department head, maybe we shouldn’t have public employee unions running the place, maybe we should be outsourcing a lot more work so that when you have a cycle that is the down cycle that you don’t have to layoff employees you, you terminate contracts with outside contractors,” Moorlach said. “There’s a lot that could be done, but we can’t just coddle and hold onto employees that are union members just for the sake of protecting them. They don’t work to serve themselves, they work to serve the taxpayers and so we’ve got to change the mindset.”
Caltrans insists they are making sure an incident like this won’t happened again.
“Nobody is more indignant than we are,” Shuck said. “This is not ok; it’s not acceptable; we’re not going to put up with it.”
The report said the main supervisor involved planned to retire in August 2015 with a similar note in his personnel file as the engineer, stating he retired during an active investigation.
Caltrans said in the report it is implementing mandatory weekly submissions of daily activity reports.
Every time we pay for a gallon of gas we are paying for someone in Caltrans to go golf on the job? Somebody give me a rebate on gas please…….
And we have a state senator posturing for the media but will anything actually be done.