An employee for the Department of Developmental Services was on leave for two years and got paid more than $80,000.
A state auditor’s report done between 2012 and 2013 discovered the paid leave for state workers.
"Even in cases where union rules that would apply, many of these cases were well over what's allowed,” Auditor of Public Accounts John Geragosian said.
Geragosian said the audit found violations in state statutes. He also stated there are limits on paid leave. Fifteen days to investigate charges, which could lead to someone's dismissal, and when there are criminal charges, it can be extended for 60 days.
But paid leave at DDS went a lot longer. There were 27 employees put on paid leave for non-criminal charges. There were 26 of them were paid anywhere between 490 hours to more than $1,500 hours that's 196 days.
But, the longest was one employee who was paid well over 2,700 hours and when you factor in days off that employee was not at work but was paid for, it was two years.
“The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) works toward timely outcomes on all investigations, including those during which staff have been placed on administrative leave. As noted in the audit report, there are occasionally extenuating circumstances beyond the Department’s control that require extended periods of administrative leave. DDS has made process changes since the period of this audit, including the establishment of reporting relationships between the Human Resources and Investigations Divisions to ensure ongoing communication on investigations resulting in administrative leave. DDS is looking into additional process efficiencies to mitigate these types of circumstances,” DDS said in a statement on Thursday.
But, in the case of the 27 DDS employees on paid leave, some for close to 200 days and even two years, Eyewitness News was told they were not on leave for criminal charges.
“The audit report does not specify whether the 27 employees reviewed were put out on administrative leave for criminal or non-criminal issues. As noted in the agency’s response within the audit report, there are frequently outside investigators over which the agency has no control – including not only state/local police, but also entities such as Protection and Advocacy, Department of Social Services, Department of Children and Families, etc. In instances during which DDS is unable to conduct its investigation simultaneously, actions predicated on the outcome of an internal investigation may be delayed,” DDS said in a statement on Thursday.
"We think they should get their investigations done more promptly and adhere to the rules,” Geragosian said.
State auditors point out in many cases that these employees can still work while on leave, especially if they're not criminal issues. This often happens with state police troopers and they are assigned desk duty.
Eyewitness News did ask DDS what actions they are taking. Eyewitness News is waiting for information
Eyewitness News was told that one employee on paid leave for two years, no longer works for DDS.
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