The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

March 22, 2013
Cal EMA responds to State Worker report, changes postal policy

130322-calema-logo-horizontal-large1.jpgFollowing Thursday's State Worker column that the state's emergency management agency spent more to mail a collection letter to a former employee than the amount she owed, the agency is changing its certified mail policy immediately.

Kelly Huston, Cal EMA's assistant secretary of media relations, said spending $6.51 to certify a letter to Deena Mount for a $5 debt was "ridiculous."

From now on, the agency won't send certified letters for collections under $100, he said.

Mount, a Cal EMA employee until 2010 who now works for the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, received notice last week that she owed the money for a 2007 travel-expense overpayment.

It's not clear why the agency took six years to catch up with the debt. Agency officials on Wednesday couldn't find any records of prior correspondence to Mount about the matter.

"There's a reasonable way to handle these things," Huston said. "The way we did it in her case was not reasonable."

IMAGE CREDIT: www.calema.ca.gov

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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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