The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 28, 2012
The parks investigation: Parks manager details how leave payouts dodged payroll controls

Person interviewed: Ronette Martinez
Job: Staff services manager I, 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: Feb. 23, 2012
Notable quote: "I just told my boss that because I know that." - Martinez explaining that she told Paris Jackson, a parks assistant personnel officer, how to key in the deparment's under-the-radar leave cashouts to circumvent state payroll processing controls.

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. The report spurred a subsequent revelation that parks squirreled away millions of dollars while also threatening to close facilities due to lack of funds.

This post is the next in a series intended to make all of the documents readily accessible to the public.

Martinez Interview 2012-2-23

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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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