A new state audit finds California paid $580,000 for San Diego office space that sat unused for four years, it was reported today.
State Auditor Elaine Howle found the space was supposed to be used by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation but sat empty from December 2004 to December 2008 due to "miscommunication and bureaucratic bungling," the Los Angeles Times reported.
Howle's office completed a total of nine investigations of whistle-blower claims received during the last six months of 2008 that turned up "substantial allegations" regarding several agencies, according to the newspaper.
In addition to the unused office space, a high-level administrator was improperly reimbursed more than $70,000 over five years for commuting from her Southern California home to her Sacramento office. The administrator, who was not identified by name, formerly worked with the Office of Spill Prevention and Response in the state Department of Fish and Game, according to The Times.
"Through our investigative methods, we found waste of state funds, improper payments, improper contracting and misuse of state resources," Howle wrote Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.