Person interviewed: Delores Mejia
Job classification: associate government program analyst, 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. 16, 2012
Notable quote: "So I was furious. And I go, you know, that's kind of unfair because, you know, knowing that we're going through a budget crisis, knowing that we weren't allowed to buy supplies and, you know, to do this and that." - Mejia's recollection of her reaction to finding out a parks employee had cashed out $18,000 worth of leave. After asking her supervisor why some employees got leave money and others didn't, Mejia was allowed to cash out 60 hours of leave time.
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 accessible to the public.
Mejia Interview 2012-2-16