Two employees of the Sacramento Department of Utilities had sex, drank alcohol and used cocaine during the workday, according to a new report from the city auditor.
Both employees have resigned. But City Auditor Jorge Oseguera concludes that issues remain, including the failure of supervisors to detect such behavior. A summary of his report was provided to the City Council on Thursday.
Bill Busath, director of the Utilities Department, did not return a message seeking comment for this story. City Manager John Shirey said the department correctly handled the situation.
“This is government at its best – we received allegations, we investigated and we took action,” he said. “We told the employees they could resign or be fired.”
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It marked the second time the two employees were caught having sex on the job, according to the auditor’s report.
In 2013, they were witnessed having sex in the back seat of a city vehicle at a city park, and Busath and other city officials responded by temporarily reducing their pay and vacation, according to the auditor. Shirey said Thursday that level of discipline was appropriate.
Oseguera’s report says he confirmed the 2013 report of sexual activity and the employees’ discipline with the city’s labor relations division. The names of the former employees are blacked out in the copy of the report he made public Thursday.
The inappropriate behavior continued, however, and employees came to the conclusion, “You can get away with anything when you work for the city,” according to a whistleblower’s allegation that prompted the auditor’s review last year. “I am also tired of the remarks of how my workplace is a total joke.”
In the most recent instances, the two employees met at a trailer to have sex, drink alcohol and use cocaine, all on the work clock, according to the report. They would spend as much as three hours a day at the trailer, then report a normal workday or even overtime on the city’s time-management system.
At least one of the two employees would drink alcohol and use drugs, and then drive a city vehicle back to work, likely while still under the influence, the report says.
City emails revealed references to cocaine “bought, sold and used during work hours at the trailer,” according to the report, which does not provide any more detail about the alleged drug sales.
While reviewing emails sent by the two employees, Oseguera found communications with “pornographic photos ... sent to various employees throughout the Department of Utilities,” according to his report.
The report does not say whether the employees faced criminal charges for their activity.
It was the second whistleblower report in 18 months from Oseguera raising questions about management at the Utilities Department. In December 2014, an audit prompted nepotism concerns when it found that as many as 40 relatives worked in the department, or nearly 7.5 percent of the staff.
On the previous matter, Shirey said he is negotiating a new nepotism policy with labor unions and hopes to have it in place before he leaves in November.