The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 15, 2011
Column Extra: Memo puts CalPERS' staff disclosure errors in context

With just 400 to 450 words for our weekly State Worker column, most of what we learn each week never sees print. Column Extras give you some of the notes, the quotes and the observations that inform what's published.

Our column in today's Bee looks at the final chapter of the Fair Political Practices Commission's investigation into gift reporting lapses at CalPERS.

Bottom line: The investigation turned up paperwork gaps and 16 people have agreed to pay fines totaling about $20,000 for failing to disclose some freebies they received from companies doing business with CalPERS.

In an unusual move, FPPC Chief of Enforcement Gary Winuk, wrote a memo to commissioners about the investigation in advance of the Sept. 22 hearing set to consider the 16 stipulated settlements reached. He concluded that there were several factors working in CalPERS favor, including the employees' and board members' cooperation, confusion between an in-house reporting mandate and what the law requires and CalPERS' "strict no-gifts rule for staff and ethics training programs that go beyond the requirements of state law."
CalPERS investigation memo by FFPC Enforcement Chief Gary Winuk

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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