The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 27, 2012
The parks investigation: Personnel manager distanced himself from leave scandal

Person interviewed: Jason Summers
Job: personnel manager, parks and recreation
Interviewed by: Corrine Murphy, Justice Department deputy attorney general, and Angela Nowicki, superintendent II, State Parks Law Enforcement Emergency Services
Dates of interviews: Feb. 15, 2012 and April 25, 2012 (click the link below to view both transcripts.)
Notable quote: "Well, if there's an excuse now would be the time to come up with it, I must say." - Murphy pressing Summers, quoted in the April 25 transcript on page 20, to explain how he was so removed from the leave buyback "situation" as it developed at parks.

Note: Summers eventually was demoted for, among other things, portraying himself to investigators as having "bowed out" of the leave buyback process when he was involved and for "inexcusable neglect of duty to assure the legality of the program." Click here to see the department's notice to Summers of his demotion from staff services manager III to staff services manager II.

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 the 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 documents readily accessible to the public .

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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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