Dollars The State Controller’s office is scolding more than 100 local governments and special districts for failing to turn over financial data — including detailed information on employee salaries — as required by state law.

Sasha Khokha, the Central Valley bureau chief for KQED’s The California Report, says the controller has called out 126 agencies for being more than a year late with financial disclosures. The delinquent governments are mostly small water, fire and utility districts, but also include the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. And nine cities, including bankrupt Stockton and the Kern county oil town of Taft, population 6,900.

Local governments have long been required to send financial reports to the state. But after the scandal in the city of Bell over inflated salaries, they now have to include more detailed information about employee wages and benefits, too.

The salary data from agencies across the state goes into the controller’s public pay website, Government Compensation in California. The site contains lots of juicy tidbits about who’s making what in government service, including the unnamed Beverly Hills cop who cleared $433,000 in 2011 (most of that in a lump-sum payment, presumably on retirement) or the former city manager in Indian Wells, Riverside County, who made $677,000 (a payment that included $446,000 in “other pay,” mostly from a severance package that paid him an extra year’s salary).

Jacob Roper, a spokesman for the State Controller John Chiang, says the 126 agencies on the list are all more than a year late with their financial reports. “This is very valuable data,” Roper said. “The taxpayers, the policymakers, the leaders in these local governments, really get a disservice if this information isn’t provided to them.”

Taft City Manager Craig Jones says the city is late because of some staff changes in the accounting department at City Hall. He says Taft has nothing to hide.

“We are a very small city and we have limited staff,” Jones said. “We definitely don’t like making the naughty list for any reason, so we’re working very diligently to compile the information.”

Connie Cochran, public information officer for Stockton, says the city has already acknowledged that it’s tardy in filing financial data with the controller. She says the city will file the overdue reports by the end of the year.

Here’s the audio for Sasha Khokha’s story:

  • Lincoln Finley

    JOHN CHIANG IS IN BREACH OF RECENT $20,000,000.00 SETTLEMENT REACHED WITH JOHN HANCOCK. There has been many Corporate shake downs done on behalf of the people of California. I was appalled to read how he has won millions, yet stone walling all claims when getting the money to the people was his reason for suing. Mr Chavaro is a non existent supervisor and has ZERO control over the actions of his underling Justin Dersch. I have filled out all claim forms. No formal denial just no response. So I filed a Superior Court action. Won that. Justin Dersch appealed…the Judge ruled that I am due payment. Justin Dersch appealed that. The judge ruled was not against my right to the claim but ruled to start a year long process again? So, Justin Dersch says in his own words..he wants a higher court ruling. Okay, so I respectfully filed a complaint in Federal Court and named John Hancock in the Federal lawsuit as well as the Department of Justice. NOTICE TO ALL TAXPAYERS!!!! This is the type of government waste that increase the stress on our fiscal financial problems. We must clean house of this type of incompetence and breach of economical duty owed to the tax payers of California. Its costing the State over $20,000.00 to pay a $5,000.00 claim that is contractually legally binding and its bad for corporate business driving up our premiums and depriving all: of our properties that rightfully belong to us..the people of California. Anyone in need of legal help can contact: Futureinsight.org they can refer you to legal professionals that understand everybody cant afford attorney fees but should not be denied justice based on economical position. GO NOW TO…(sco.ca.gov) and click on UNCLAIMED PROPERTY and run every name in your family and friends. State of Ca may be holding money from you or someone you know. But they will not tell you in accordance to law. 1000’s of dollars of unknown life policies and money go unclaimed. Check it out. ITS FREE!!

Author

Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage of topics ranging from California water issues to the Bay Area's transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several Web startups.

Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. He has shared in two Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Excellence in Journalism awards — for his 2012 reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California, and in 2014, for KQED's comprehensive reporting on the south Napa earthquake.

In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

Email Dan at: dbrekke@kqed.org

Twitter: twitter.com/danbrekke
Facebook: www.facebook.com/danbrekke
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/danbrekke

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor