What Furloughs? L.A. Sheriffs Got Improper Overtime

(SARA LIBBY)   The L.A. Times reports that hundreds of Los Angeles County sheriffs clocked enormous amounts of overtime hours in 2007 and 2008, in violation of local rules.

An audit revealing the overtime was performed by County Controller Wendy Watanabe. The report also found that nearly 350 of the sheriffs accrued what amounted to almost six extra months of full-time work.

I’m guessing the other state workers throughout California who are being forced to take unpaid furlough days, including judges and court clerks who process the cases originated by sheriff arrests, might find this offensive.

And, as the audit pointed out, massive overtime inevitably leads to questions about officers’ performance. I don’t want the person directing my aircraft onto a runway or the doctor performing my surgery to have been working the past 30 hours, nor do I want the sheriff who might have to come to my aid to be groggy on the job.

The improper overtime revelation comes on the heels of reports that someone in the L.A. County Coroner’s office might have leaked information regarding actress Brittany Murphy’s death. If information was indeed leaked, it was likely given to a tabloid in exchange for money, which has been the problem in other celebrity cases in which medical information was involved.

It all comes down to people in law enforcement acting outside the law for more money. And while we all rely on the hard work of the Sheriff’s Department to protect us, we also expect that they won’t abuse what little money our ailing state has left.

http://trueslant.com/saralibby/2009/12/22/l-a-sheriffs-brittany-murphy/

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