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Whistleblower Investigations Find Problems At Animal Care Center and Fire Department


The Sacramento City Auditor says his office is receiving so many whistleblower complaints, he needs more staff to keep up.

Jorge Oseguera says his office received more than 40 tips in the first three months of this year. Seven were substantiated -including paperwork errors involving the City's fire department.

"The City paramedics were not obtaining the necessary signatures to get reimbursed for those transports and as a result we weren't able to collect on several hundred transportations that we made which were valued at over $168,000."

An audit found more than 400 cases in which city paramedics failed to obtain signatures needed to secure reimbursement. 

Another audit substantiated a claim against the Animal Care Center. Oseguera says center employees changed fees without City Council approval.   

"What we want to avoid is the potential risk that a particular individual modifies a fee and would keep the difference of what should have been paid and what was actually entered into our system."

None of the audits for the first three months of the year found any illegal activity.

Oseguera will report to the City Council Tuesday night the results of the whistleblower program. He will also ask the council to approve increasing his budget to pay for another investigator. Four people work in the auditor's office.

He says his office has identified $500,000 worth of "questionable practices" within City agencies.

In addition to investigating whistleblower complaints, the City Auditor's office is completing an audit of the Department of Public Works' Sidewalk Repair Program.

Oseguera will likely ask the City Council next week to approve hiring a contractor for an audit of the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency. Since 2012, 188 complaints have been filed. Thirty six cases remain open.

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