The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 14, 2012
The parks investigation: Media coverage a rationale for buying down leave

Person interviewed: Tim Wood
Job class: staff services manager II
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: "There was an article that came out in the paper at that time talking about state employees and the fact of their leave cash outs. When they retire, how many hours they have on the books, looking at the picture from the Sacramento Bee perspective. They were hitting on individuals working in Corrections that were at, like, 900,000 (dollars)." -- Wood explaining how media coverage of state leave costs was discussed in a key meeting that led to the parks unauthorized buyout program (transcript page 17).

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 online in response to media requests after The Bee broke the story of the leave cash-out scheme, 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 latest in a series intended to make the documents readily accessible to the public.
Wood Interview 2012-2-16

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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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