The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 31, 2012
The parks investigation: Official says parks managers told to keep quiet about leave buyouts

Person interviewed: Mike Flores
Job classification: Data Processing Manager III, Parks and Recreation
Interviewed by: Corrine Murphy, Justice Department deputy attorney general, and Angela Nowicki, Superintendent II, State Parks Law Enforcement Emergency Services
Date of interview: Mar. 28, 2012
Notable quote: "During the meeting, after it was introduced, we usually have ... discusion. And I think I would have to say that it was brought up that maybe it would be best, you know, to keep it quiet." - Flores response, transcribed on page 17, when asked whether managers at a June 2011 parks managers' meeting were told to keep a leave buyback plan secret.

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. 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 the parks investigation documents readily accessible to the public.

Flores Interview 2012-3-28

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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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