DeSaulnier Responds to Auditor’s Report – Senator Calls for Criminal Investigation

March 31, 2013 11:00 am · 11 comments

Today Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), Chair of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee responds to the State Auditor’s Report on the Department of Transportation.

“Today’s report follows up on a hearing I held in November of 2011. Then we heard from key staff at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) regarding the allegations of improprieties within Caltrans’ program to inspect construction of new structures including the Bay Bridge,” said Committee Chair, Senator Mark DeSaulnier.

“I had grave concerns then, and I still do now, about the culture at Caltrans that allowed these events to occur. We will hold a hearing and ask the State Auditor to present her findings to the Committee. In addition, I will follow up on my request to the Attorney General to investigate potentially criminal activities within the Foundation Inspection Branch of the California Department of Transportation.”

“State government cannot be a safe haven for employees who shirk their public safety duties and who steal state property for private purposes. California motorists have placed a great deal of trust in Caltrans,” said DeSaulnier. “That has been shaken, and Caltrans needs to re-earn that trust. We appreciate the brave public servants at CalTrans who brought these issues to light.”

DeSaulnier has introduced Senate Bill 486, which creates the Office of Legal Compliance and Ethics (OLCE) within the Transportation Agency to conduct audits and investigations of the state Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and publicly report its findings to the California Transportation Commission (CTC), the Governor, and the Legislature.

anon March 31, 2013 at 12:31 PM

CalTrans failures are the inevitable failure of central planning. Anyone who trusts CalTrans to do a good job is naive. It amazes me that people will cry bloody murder if a defective child’s toy causes a death, but when government roads kill thousands every year and maim countless more, they demand more central planning by bureaucrats whose only concerns are how to expand their bureaucracy and pensions.

Jim March 31, 2013 at 12:34 PM

More red tape = more $$$…thanks again to what…democraps

Elwood March 31, 2013 at 1:01 PM

I was getting worried. There had only been one thread this week lauding the wonderfulness of Marky Mark.

All this concern from a guy who used to worry about the fat content of his hamburger meat.

AnotherAnon March 31, 2013 at 1:25 PM

And if Mark hadn’t brought this up, he would’ve been criticized for failure to act. Too bad all the critics don’t run for office, so we’d NEVER have any problems in Government.

anon --- ONE WHO KNOWS March 31, 2013 at 1:42 PM

“State government cannot be a safe haven for employees who shirk their public safety duties and who steal state property for private purposes

Yo – MARK–above is exactly what it is–are you going to do anything to change it ?? Probably not as your political career is much more important…….

Anon March 31, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Yet again more wasteful government. If there is a problem then fix it, don’t create yet more deficit spending of my tax dollars so what you can look good for an election cycle. In the end who will check the checkers?

Phillip March 31, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Another agency created……

What about just “do the right thing?”

Why am I not surprised?

Auditors March 31, 2013 at 4:07 PM

If there is an auditor who is already reporting, then why does he need to duplicate it?
Department self audits are worthless. Look at the 50 million dollars “found in the parks department” and the millions of dollars found elsewhere when we actually went looking at the accounts.
At Another Anon #4 what did Mark do a about the 150 Million dollars that MTC is spending? They have bought the building that used to be the Main Postal Facility in San Francisco with dozens of Federal Offices leased in the Property and the Feds could not afford to keep it open, but the MRC can.
The only critics of what he and all of the state bureaucrats are doing to us are Republicans and fools like you that keep electing the idiots we have so they never get a chance.
Where was his oversight and ethics committee when he was the Seeno’s hand picked puppet?
More government, more waste.

Protected Species March 31, 2013 at 5:20 PM

“Caltrans Employees Engaged in Inexcusable Neglect of Duty, Received Overpayment for Overtime, Falsified Test Data, and Misappropriated State Property”

OH gosh public outrage press release, . . . look good.

Seems like there is at least a few reporters that have absolutely no problem finding MANY things gone wrong with Caltrans.

If managers have time for personal personal shopping and drinking beer then driving a state vehicle, perhaps there are too many of them with WAY TOO MUCH time on their hands. An the bosses that didn’t know what those managers were doing should be fired too.

Of course that will take countless reports, numerous hearings . . . and numerous press releases.

Bob H. March 31, 2013 at 6:19 PM

@ auditors #8- Totally agree. We are going to hire a whole lot of people to investigate people who where hired to investigate that the job was being done right in the first place. Maybe we should go back to square one and hire competent contractors and not those that donate the most to our campaign funds.

Anonymous April 1, 2013 at 7:53 AM

I think it would be more effective to have all public employees receive annual, on-the-job training about fraud and corruption so they know the signs. Teach them about reporting suspected fraud to the appropriate agencies and the financial incentives for whistleblowers. The training should be happening at all public entities (not just Caltrans). DeSaulnier will catch a lot more thieves with an effective whistleblowing program than he will with an audit.

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