State worker may have played golf on your dime

Sharon Wong

If you’re a taxpayer in California, you will be very indignant indeed when you’re done with this article. After all, you might have unwittingly financing an unscrupulous Caltrans employee’s golf addiction. The engineer, who is still unnamed, has apparently played 55 games lasting 4 and a half hours a day between August 2012 and March 2014. And yes, he was doing it all during work hours. Oops.

What might aggravate even more is that he is probably going to get away with it. You see, after 16 years of “working” with the district, the man retired in July this year in the middle of an active investigation. Looks like he was good at planning ahead, if nothing else.

So how could no one have seen this coming? Apparently, his supervisor approved his time sheets for 19 months without actually knowing the hours he worked. The employee had never been required to provide a daily report of his doings. Furthermore, his transfer to a different department resulted in month-long confusion over who was actually supervising and who he reported to.

According Caltrans, no one is more enraged than they are. They’ve vowed to cease “coddling” long-time employees and to implement weekly submissions of daily activity reports. We’re guessing that golf will become a very sore subject at the office for a long, long time.