State parks official loses appeal of disciplinary pay cut

Published: Thursday, Jun. 13, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 4A
Last Modified: Thursday, Jun. 13, 2013 - 6:46 am

A California state parks employee punished last year for her role in an illegal buyout of employee vacation time has lost her appeal of that disciplinary action.

Paris Jackson, assistant personnel director at the Department of Parks and Recreation, allegedly falsified payroll codes so a select group of employees at parks headquarters in Sacramento could cash out unused vacation time.

The covert buyout program was authorized in 2011 by Manuel Lopez, former deputy director of administration at the department, despite a state ban on the practice. He has since resigned.

Jackson was slapped with a 5 percent pay cut as punishment for her role. The pay reduction began in August 2012 and runs for a year. She retained her position.

In an appeal to the State Personnel Board, Jackson said she was merely carrying out orders and following precedent set down by prior buyouts. She asked for the disciplinary action to be dismissed and her pay restored.

Administrative law judge Jason Krestoff denied the appeal, calling the penalty appropriate.

Contact The Bee's Matt Weiser at (916) 321-1264. Follow him on Twitter @matt_weiser.

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