The State Worker

California DMV worker slept on the job for three years, audit says

DMV users hit with long waits

Wait times at DMV offices increased this year due to added processing for new REAL ID cards and startup problems with a new numbered queuing system.
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Wait times at DMV offices increased this year due to added processing for new REAL ID cards and startup problems with a new numbered queuing system.

A California DMV data operator slept three hours a day at her desk for three years and the department failed to take disciplinary action — despite complaints from her colleagues, according to an audit released Tuesday.

Four witnesses told investigators from the California State Auditor’s office that the DMV employee consistently slept at her desk. The auditor estimated the employee misused 2,200 hours of work time between February 2014 and December 2017.

The employee continues to work for the state, according to the audit.

That report was one of several included in the State Auditor’s twice-a-year report in state worker misconduct.

It also found:

  • A high-ranking Cal Fire chief had two state employees build an addition to a state-owned house he rented during their work hours. The addition had plumbing, electrical and sewer connections. The chief did not get permission to build the structure. Photos of the building show it was decorated as a tiki room, and the chief invited people to drink alcohol with him in the building. The assistant chief was punished with a 30-day suspension, and Cal Fire has demolished the structure, according to the audit.
  • Two Fresno State University operations employees “engaged in egregious and continued time and attendance abuse” by taking extended breaks over a four-year period. They allegedly wasted 5,100 hours and cost the state about $111,000 in salary paid for work not performed.

  • The director of nursing at a Southern California prison reassigned a licensed vocational nurse to a position for which she was over-qualified. The nurse was reported to be a friend of the director. It cost the state about $30,000, including overtime because other employees had to cover for the nurse in her regular job.

The DMV worker who slept at her desk might have had a medical condition that made it difficult for her to work on a regular schedule. In 2016, her doctor informed that the department that she could not perform the duties the job required.

The DMV reassigned her to another position in January 2017, but she continued to sleep at work.

Disney takes a humorous jab at state workers. Video courtesy Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures

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