The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 22, 2012
The parks investigation documents: Robert Bonner interview

The California Natural Resources Agency recently released more than 1,000 pages of interviews, adverse action notices and reports that detail a covert employee leave buyback program at the Department of Parks and Recreation during the summer of 2011.

Natural resources issued the documents online in response to media requests after The Bee broke the story of the leave cash-out program, which spurred a subsequent revelation that parks squirreled away millions of dollars while also threatening to close facilities due to extreme budget pressure.

This post is the next in a series intended to make all of those 38 documents readily accessible to the public within the next few days.

Person interviewed: Robert Bonner
Job classification: State Parks labor relations manager
Interviewed by: Corrine Murphy, Justice Department deputy attorney general, and Angela Nowicki, Superintendent II, State Parks Law Enforcement Emergency Services
Date of interview:Feb. 24, 2012
Notable quote: "The 'gray zone' is -- my understanding is those areas of policy that aren't really detailed in policy. ... And that's an area, you know, you certainly want to be careful because while there are no guidelines for how you're operating, for your -- one way or another, you can certainly get yourself into some problems." - Bonner's explanation on page 17 when asked whether he was familiar with the term, "the gray zone."
Bonner Interview 2012-2-24

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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 jortiz@sacbee.com.

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