Only the government could fire someone for “serious abuses” and yet allow that person to collect an extra $550,000 of taxpayer money for “unused vacation” – even though he had six times as many carryover days as the rules allow. This is a nauseating example of why California is facing a fiscal crisis:
Amid a crippling fiscal crisis, managers throughout California’s government have routinely allowed their employees to amass unused vacation time, enabling hundreds of workers to end their public service careers with payouts topping $100,000, a California Watch investigation has found. One worker combined vacation and compensatory time to walk away with more than $800,000, records show. In the past four years, nearly 500 government workers earned six-figure paychecks mostly for unused vacation. …The problem is growing, state payroll officials said. Personnel documents estimate that as of December 2008, more than 14,000 active state employees already exceeded their vacation caps. In one case, James C. Tudor Jr., the former president of the State Compensation Insurance Fund, cashed out six times more vacation time than regulations allow, taking home more than $550,000 after he was fired in 2007 in the wake of an internal probe that “uncovered serious abuses at the highest levels,” according to state Senate documents. Another state employee was allowed to accumulate large amounts of comp time in addition to unused vacation days, taking home $815,000 when he left state service.