California Gov. Jerry Brown has asked the state Department of Justice to investigate alleged corruption at the state’s Board of Equalization, the agency that collects $60 billion in tax revenues in one of the highest-taxed states in the nation.
The Sacramento Bee reports:
In a letter sent to the board’s five elected members, The Democratic governor announced the tax agency will not be able to hire key personnel or issue most contracts without approval from other state departments he controls.
His letter also announced his intent to ask the Human Resources Department and Attorney General Xavier Becerra to investigate complaints from civil servants as well as an alleged misuse of public resources.
Brown’s letter follows a recent audit from the Department of Finance that found the Board of Equalization had allowed its elected members to “redirect” staff for promotional events. The audit found the agency could not explain how it corrected accounting failures identified in a 2015 audit.
It described reports from employees who feared they’d lose their jobs if they displeased elected officials. The report also suggested that board members inappropriately “intervened” in administrative decisions, creating inconsistencies that are “contrary to state law.”