The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 31, 2012
The parks investigation: Investigators talk with department's No. 2

Person interviewed: Michael Harris
Job: Acting chief deputy director, State Parks
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: "My immediate thought was there was a large lapse of judgment at the very least. A large lapse of judgment serious enough that ultimately we relieve Manuel of his CEA duties." - Harris recalling his thoughts when he first heard of the parks covert leave buyback plan hatched by Deputy Director Manuel Lopez. The quote is found on page 14 of the transcript.

Note: The leave scandal cost Harris his job. He received this termination letter from the department on July 20. The effective termination date was Aug. 9.

This post is part of a series intended to make public all of the documents released by the California Natural Resources Agency's investigation of the leave covert cash out of leave time by parks employees in the summer of 2011, even as it was preparing to close facilities for lack of funds.

Harris Interview 2012-2-24

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

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


Now on the State Worker column

State Pay Database

This database allows you to search the salaries of California's 300,000-plus state workers and view up to four years of their pay history.


October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives