I’ve complained before about Blueberry Commissions and the State Bureau of Home Furnishings, but when I read this article in the LA Times about the State Personnel Board, I thought my head might explode.
When thousands of dollars belonging to elderly residents of a veterans home went missing, police set out to catch the thief. A video camera they hid showed nurse’s aide Linda Riccitelli creeping into a 93-year-old man’s room and sticking her hand in a dresser drawer stashed with bait money.
Investigators confirmed the cash was gone and the video showed that no one else had opened the drawer.
Prosecutors charged Riccitelli with burglary, and the Department of Veterans Affairs fired her. To most, it seemed like an open-and-shut case. But a little-known state agency that rules on employee discipline saw things differently. It ordered Riccitelli re-hired, with three years’ back pay because, they said, the evidence was “circumstantial.”…
Working for the state is “different” from the private sector, said Personnel Board Executive Director Suzanne Ambrose, explaining that the review process was designed to prevent employees from losing their jobs for political reasons and to ensure “fairness in how the government work is being done.”
Yeah. Clearly, working for the state is different from the private sector. Paid vacations for criminal acts, cushy pensions… A job board that reviews terminations seems to make sense, but given the track record of the State Personnel Board, dumping it and starting over with new staff and new rules seems a good idea to me.