The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 30, 2012
The parks investigation: State official says she warned against leave buyouts

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 all of the parks documents readily accessible to the public.

Person interviewed: Helen Carriker
Job classification: Deputy director, Department of Fish and Game
Interviewed by: Corrine Murphy, Justice Department deputy attorney general, and Angela Nowicki, Superintendent II, State Parks Law Enforcement Emergency Services
Date of interview:Mar. 29, 2012
Notable quote: "I said you can't do that without getting approval to do it. That's something you just cannot do. It's, you know, a big deal. It's union issues and all sorts of stuff. You can't just pay it." - Carriker's recollection, transcribed on page 6, of what she told Manuel Lopez and another parks official when they asked about the propriety of buying back staff leave time.
Carriker Interview 2012-3-29

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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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