Courts to Whistleblower: You’re Fired
California court administrators have fired the whistleblower who last year exposed their poor oversight of multimillion dollar contracts with private vendors.
Michael Paul, a senior technical analyst in the Administrative Office of the Courts’ information services department, said he was told Friday that he was being fired from his $97,000 per year job for reporting a possible bidding irregularity in a courthouse construction project to the wrong colleague.
Paul passed his information to the AOC employee overseeing the construction project. Paul’s boss told him that instead, he should have passed it to the AOC executive who oversees investigations into allegations of fraud and waste.
But Paul said that executive has been unwilling to investigate similar complaints in the past.
“Basically,” Paul said, “I blew the whistle in the wrong direction and because I did that, I’m fired.”
Bipartisan Group Sheds Light on Hidden Costs of Governor’s Planned Land Sale
California State Controller John Chiang joined a bipartisan group to denounce the state’s planned sale of buildings to raise money in the short-term.
The group has released a report that details $4 billion in hidden costs for taxpayers.
“Using one-time revenues to try and solve a structural budget gap is always bad policy, as it simply moves the need to make tough decisions ahead in time,” writes the study’s author, Christopher Thornberg.
St John’s: A Private Clinic that’s Pioneering New Ways to Serve the Public
This LA Times profile highlights St. John’s Well Child and Family Center’s innovative approach to improving the lives of patients by combining legal help with medical treatment in order to serve patients better.
An on-site attorney at the South L.A. clinic helps patients address the legal problems that affect their health, such as cockroaches and mold in rental units.
St. John’s chief executive Jim Mangia says the program takes into account the connection between health and the living environments of the families who use the clinic’s services. “Someone has to hold slum lords accountable for the slum housing conditions, which are poisoning our children,” he says.
Overpaid Charity Bosses Beware: The Internal Revenue Service Is Watching You
Just a few days ago, AccountableCalifornia.org said the IRS “gives each nonprofit’s board of directors latitude in deciding how much to pay top managers.” Now, reports the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the IRS is “delving deeply into the matter of compensation of highly paid officials.” At a national conference of state charity regulators and legal experts, IRS Exempt Organizations chief Lois Lerner expressed skepticism about the “comparability” studies tax-exempt groups use to justify executive pay. “We’re going to be looking deeper into the comparables to determine whether they are really comparable, she pledged. She also expressed concern that nonprofits may be pegging salaries to the top of a “comparable” range, placing executive salaries on an escalator. Her talk focused mainly on colleges and universities, but other nonprofits could feel the impact. Full details available at the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
–Steve Askin, Director, the Center for Public Accountability