The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 4, 2012
The parks investigation: The problem with state workers' big leave balances

Person interviewed: Rachele Manges
Job: budget manager, 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. 9, 2012
Notable quote: "(T)his department does have a problem all the time where we have employees that get huge payouts that we're not anticipating and then, you know, it could put us over budget with the tighter budget constraints. It's really going to be an issue this year -- and next." - Manges, on transcript page 9, explaining a rationale for the parks' leave buyback program.

The California Natural Resources Agency 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 in response to media requests after The Bee broke the story of the leave cash-out program. The report triggered a subsequent revelation that parks squirreled away millions of dollars while also threatening to close facilities because it lacked funds.

This post is the next in a series intended to make all of those documents readily accessible to the public .
Manges Interview 2012-3-9

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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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