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California OIG Discipline Monitoring Report Jul-Dec 2020

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Roy W. Wesley , Inspector General

Bryan B. Beyer, Chief Deputy Inspector General

OIG

OFFICE of the
INSPECTOR GENERAL

Independent Prison Oversight

May 2021

Monitoring Internal Investigations and
the Employee Disciplinary Process
of the California Department
of Corrections and
Rehabilitation
Semiannual Report
July – December 2020

Electronic copies of reports published by the Office of the Inspector General
are available free in portable document format (PDF) on our website.
We also offer an online subscription service.
For information on how to subscribe,
visit www.oig.ca.gov.
For questions concerning the contents of this report,
please contact Shaun Spillane, Public Information Officer,
at 916-255-1131.

STATE of CALIFORNIA

of the
OIG OFFICE
INSPECTOR GENERAL

Roy W. Wesley, Inspector General
Bryan B. Beyer, Chief Deputy Inspector General

Independent Prison Oversight

Regional Offices
Sacramento

May 19, 2021

Bakersfield
Rancho Cucamonga

The Governor of California
President pro Tempore of the Senate
Speaker of the Assembly
State Capitol
Sacramento, California
Dear Governor and Legislative Leaders:
Enclosed please find the Office of the Inspector General’s report titled Monitoring Internal Investigations and the
Employee Disciplinary Process of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. This is the Office of
the Inspector General’s 32nd semiannual report, as mandated by California Penal Code sections 6126 (a) and
6133 (b) (1), which summarizes the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (the department)
performance in conducting internal investigations and handling employee discipline cases we monitored and
closed between July 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.
Specifically, we assessed the performance of the three entities within the department responsible for
conducting internal investigations and managing the employee disciplinary process: hiring authorities
(such as prison wardens), the Office of Internal Affairs, and department attorneys. Between July 1, 2020,
and December 31, 2020, we monitored and closed 138 cases throughout California, and concluded that the
department’s overall performance in conducting internal investigations and handling employee discipline
cases was poor. Of the 138 cases, we rated 86 cases satisfactory and 52 poor.
In assessing the first of the three entities, we found that hiring authorities’ performance was satisfactory in
discovering allegations of employee misconduct and referring those allegations to the Office of Internal
Affairs. However, we determined that hiring authorities’ performance was poor in the timeliness of
their decision-making regarding Office of Internal Affairs’ investigations, and the service of disciplinary
actions. Hiring authorities conducted timely investigative and disciplinary findings conferences in just
77 of 119 cases, 65 percent of the cases we monitored, and delayed serving disciplinary actions on peace
officers in 35 of 66 cases, 53 percent.
The Office of Internal Affairs, the second entity, performed in a satisfactory manner in both processing
referrals from hiring authorities and conducting investigations. The Office of Internal Affairs processed
referrals from hiring authorities in a timely manner in 128 of 138 cases, or 93 percent, and conducted
thorough investigations in 104 of 109 cases, 95 percent. However, we disagreed with the Office of Internal
Affairs’ decisions concerning hiring authority referrals in 259 of 1,063 cases, or 24 percent. In addition,
between July and December 2020, the OIG monitored and closed seven cases involving the use of deadly
force. The department’s policy requires special agents to complete deadly force investigations within 90 days
of assignment. During this reporting period, special agents did not complete deadly force investigations
within 90 days of assignment in two of the seven deadly force cases, 29 percent. Nevertheless, we assessed six
deadly force cases as satisfactory, despite finding in one of the six cases that a special agent did not comply
with the department’s internal time frames for completing investigations. For the one case, the special agent
completed the investigation within 98 days. Moreover, the Office of Internal Affairs improved its timeliness in
completing deadly force investigations from the January through June 2020 reporting period, during which it
did not timely complete the investigations in five of 11 cases, or 45 percent.
In assessing department attorneys, the third entity, we found that department attorneys performed in a
satisfactory manner in providing legal advice to the department while the Office of Internal Affairs processed
Gavin Newsom, Governor
10111 Old Placerville Road, Suite 110
Sacramento, California 95827
Telephone: (916) 255-1102
www.oig.ca.gov

Governor and Legislative Leaders
May 19, 2021
Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process
Page 2

employee misconduct referrals and conducted investigations. During this reporting period, we found that
department attorneys provided sound legal advice to the Office of Internal Affairs when the Office of Internal
Affairs processed referrals from hiring authorities in 120 of 128 cases, 94 percent. Department attorneys also
provided appropriate legal consultation to hiring authorities concerning the sufficiency of investigations and
disciplinary findings in 96 of 108 cases, 89 percent. However, we found department attorneys’ performance
during litigation to be poor, primarily resulting from the untimely service of disciplinary actions on peace
officers. Specifically, department attorneys prepared disciplinary actions for peace officers in 66 cases we
reviewed, and in 35 of those cases, 53 percent, the department delayed serving the disciplinary action on at
least one peace officer.
As in our three prior reports, we conducted an analysis of the unnecessary costs the department incurred
while it delayed in processing employee discipline cases. We found that for the cases we monitored and closed
during the July 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020, reporting period, such delays resulted in approximately
$174,578 of unnecessary costs to the State and taxpayers. Over the past four reporting periods, the department
has unnecessarily paid approximately $1,015,185 in salary and benefits to employees during the delays.
We also highlight in this report our finding that the Office of Internal Affairs’ special agents often delayed
commencing investigations. During this reporting period, we monitored and closed 138 employee discipline
cases. In 102 of the 138 cases, the Office of Internal Affairs conducted at least one interview. We found that in
58 of the 102 cases, 57 percent, the assigned Office of Internal Affairs’ special agent delayed conducting the
first witness interview more than 45 days after the Office of Internal Affairs first assigned a special agent to
the investigation. In this report, we describe the negative consequences of delaying an investigation. As such,
we offer a recommendation that the department develop a policy requiring that special agents conduct the first
investigatory interview within a specified time frame.
Finally, we examined a cohort of employee discipline cases in which a hiring authority submitted
documentation to the Office of Internal Affairs evidencing employee misconduct, the Office of Internal Affairs
determined that the hiring authority sufficiently documented the employee misconduct, and the Office of
Internal Affairs authorized the hiring authority to address the alleged misconduct directly. Once authorized to
move forward with direct disciplinary action, the hiring authority must hold an investigative and disciplinary
findings conference to make a decision concerning each allegation and to determine the appropriate
discipline, if any. Under our interpretation of the Department Operations Manual, Section 33030.13, the hiring
authority should hold the investigative and disciplinary findings conference within 14 days of the Office of
Internal Affairs’ authorization. We reviewed all 497 cases in which the Office of Internal Affairs authorized the
hiring authority to take direct disciplinary action between July 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, to determine
whether hiring authorities held timely investigative and disciplinary findings conferences. We did not wait for
the cases to be closed by the department, and at the time of this writing, some of those cases are still open and
pending decisions by the hiring authority.
We followed each case simply to determine when the hiring authority held the investigative and disciplinary
findings conference. Our review revealed that of the 497 cases for which the Office of Internal Affairs
determined the hiring authority already had sufficient information to decide each allegation of employee
misconduct, the hiring authority did not conduct the investigative and disciplinary findings conference within
14 days in 433 of the cases, or 87 percent. In 129 of the 497 cases, or 26 percent, the hiring authority took longer
than 90 days to hold the investigative and disciplinary findings conference. Therefore, we recommend that the
department implement and enforce a bright-line rule requiring hiring authorities to hold investigative and
disciplinary findings conferences within 14 days of receiving the case from the Office of Internal Affairs or
receiving authorization from the Office of Internal Affairs to move forward with direct disciplinary action.
Sincerely,

Roy W. Wesley
Inspector General

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  iii

Contents
Illustrations

iv

Summary

1

Introduction

9

Background
Scope and Methodology
Monitoring Results
The Department’s Overall Performance in Investigating
Employee Misconduct and in Handling Its Employee
Disciplinary Process Was Poor

9
11
21

21

Indicator 1 The Performance by Hiring Authorities in Discovering
and Referring Allegations of Employee Misconduct Was Satisfactory

27

Indicator 2 The Performance by the Office of Internal Affairs in
Processing and Analyzing Hiring Authority Referrals of Employee
Misconduct Was Satisfactory

33

Indicator 3 The Performance by the Office of Internal Affairs
in Investigating Allegations of Employee Misconduct Was Satisfactory

37

Indicator 4 The Performance by Hiring Authorities in Determining
Findings Regarding Alleged Misconduct and Processing
the Misconduct Cases Was Poor

40

Indicator 5 The Performance by Department Attorneys in Providing
Legal Advice While the Office of Internal Affairs Processed Employee
Misconduct Hiring Authority Referrals and Conducted Internal
Investigations Was Satisfactory

48

Indicator 6 The Performance of Department Attorneys and
Employee Relations Officers in Providing Legal Representation
During Litigation Was Poor

50

The Department Delayed in Processing Dismissal Cases,
Resulting in the Payment of Approximately $174,578 to
Ultimately Dismissed Employees During the Delays

52

Special Agents From the Office of Internal Affairs Significantly
Delayed Commencing Investigations

56

The Department Unnecessarily Delayed Resolving Direct
Action Cases

61

The OIG Added Value in Its Monitoring of Cases From July
Through December 2020

65

Recommendations

67

Response to the Report

69

The Office of the Inspector General’s Comments Concerning
the Response Received From the Department of Corrections
and Rehabilitation

73

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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iv  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

Illustrations
Figures
1. The OIG’s Overall Rating of the Department’s Investigative
and Discipline Process During the Period From July Through
December 2020

1

2. Decisions the Office of Internal Affairs Made Concerning
Hiring Authority Referrals and Cases the OIG Accepted for
Monitoring During the Period From July Through
December 2020

13

3. Percentages of Each Case Type the OIG Accepted for
Monitoring During the Period From July Through
December 2020

14

4. Types of Cases the OIG Monitored and Closed During
the Period From July Through December 2020

15

5. Allegation Distribution in Administrative Cases the OIG
Monitored and Closed During the Period From July Through
December 2020

16

6. The Six Indicators Used to Assess the Department’s
Performance, and the Department’s Overall Ratings
From July Through December 2020

20

7. Percentages of Cases Hiring Authorities Referred to
the Office of Internal Affairs Within 45 Days

31

8. Timely Hiring Authority Referrals by Divisions; Division
of Adult Institutions’ Missions; and Other Hiring Authorities

32

9. Percentages of Cases With Timely Determinations Made by
the Office of Internal Affairs’ Central Intake Unit

34

10. Disagreements With Office of Internal Affairs’ Decisions
Regarding Hiring Authority Referrals in the 138 Cases the OIG
Monitored and Closed From July Through December 2020

36

11. Number and Types of Deadly Force Used in Cases We
Monitored and Closed From July Through December 2020

39

12. Administrative Cases: Findings Determined by
Hiring Authorities

44

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  v

Illustrations (continued)
Tables
Terms Used in This Report

vii

1. Monitoring Criteria Used by the Office of
the Inspector General

11

2. Ratings by Case Type: Superior, Satisfactory, and Poor

23

3. Assessment Indicators for 52 Cases Rated as Poor

24

4. Executive Review Case

47

5. Detailed Information Regarding Costs Associated
With Unnecessary Delays in Dismissal Cases

55

Graphics
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation:
Institutions and Parole Regions
The OIG’s Mandate

vi
viii

The OIG Website: Case Summaries

3

Summary of Facts

8

“Scales of Justice” (cover): Graphic image designed by the U.S. Department of Justice;
sourced via the internet
“Lady Justice” (page viii): Adapted from an illustration at www.vecteezy.com

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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vi  |  Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

Map provided courtesy of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  vii

Terms Used in This Report
Case Management
System

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s computer program and database
that staff use to enter and maintain information regarding internal investigations and employee
discipline cases.

Corrective Action

A documented nonadverse action such as verbal counseling, training, written counseling,
or a letter of instruction that a hiring authority takes to assist the employee in improving
work performance, behavior, or conduct. Corrective action cannot be appealed to the State
Personnel Board.

Disciplinary Action

A documented action that is punitive in nature and intended to correct misconduct or poor
performance or which terminates employment and may be appealed to the State Personnel
Board. It is also the “charging” document served on an employee who is being disciplined,
advising the employee of the causes for discipline and the penalty to be imposed. Also referred
to as an “adverse action” or a “notice of adverse action.”

Department
Operations Manual

The department’s operations manual. The full title is California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation Adult Institutions, Programs, and Parole Operations Manual (Sacramento: State of
California, 2020). Commonly known as the DOM, it is available on the internet at
https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Regulations.

Employee Relations
Officer

A person, who is not an attorney, employed by a California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation institution, facility, or parole region responsible for coordinating disciplinary actions
for the hiring authority and for representing the department at the State Personnel Board in
cases not designated by the Employment Advocacy and Prosecution Team.

Employment Advocacy
and Prosecution Team

A team of attorneys in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Office
of Legal Affairs assigned to provide legal advice during internal investigations and to litigate
employee discipline cases.

Executive Review

A supervisory- or management-level review conducted by a hiring authority, department
attorney, and OIG attorney to resolve a significant disagreement regarding investigative findings,
proposed discipline, or lack thereof, or a proposed settlement.

Hiring Authority

An executive, such as a warden, superintendent, or regional parole administrator, authorized by
the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to hire, discipline,
and dismiss staff members under his or her authority.

Investigative and
Disciplinary Findings
Conference

A meeting at which the hiring authority makes decisions regarding the findings and penalty in an
employee discipline case.

Office of Internal
Affairs

The entity within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation responsible for
investigating allegations of employee misconduct.

Office of Internal
Affairs’ Central
Intake Unit

A unit of the Office of Internal Affairs consisting of special agents assigned to review referrals
from hiring authorities regarding alleged employee misconduct.

Office of Internal
Affairs’ Central
Intake Panel

A collection of stakeholders led by the Office of Internal Affairs that reviews hiring authority
referrals regarding allegations of employee misconduct and which is responsible for ensuring
the referrals are appropriately evaluated. Although a department attorney and an OIG attorney
provide input at Office of Internal Affairs’ Central Intake Panel meetings, a manager from
the Office of Internal Affairs’ Central Intake Unit is the individual who makes decisions at the
meetings regarding the disposition of hiring authority referrals.

Special Agent

In the context of this report, a special agent is an investigator employed by the
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation assigned to investigate alleged
employee misconduct.

State Personnel
Board

A quasi-judicial board established by the California State Constitution that oversees merit-based
job-related recruitment, selection, and disciplinary processes of State employees.

Source: The Office of the Inspector General.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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viii  |  Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

T

he Inspector General
shall be responsible for contemporaneous
oversight of internal affairs investigations and
the disciplinary process of the Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation, pursuant to
Section 6133 under policies to be developed by
the Inspector General.
(California Penal Code section 6126 (a))

The Office of the Inspector General shall
be responsible for contemporaneous public
oversight of the Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation investigations conducted by the
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s
Office of Internal Affairs. ... The Office of the
Inspector General shall also be responsible for
advising the public regarding the adequacy of
each investigation, and whether discipline of the
subject of the investigation is warranted.
(California Penal Code section 6133 (a))

Lady Justice

The Office of the Inspector General shall also
issue regular reports, no less than semiannually,
summarizing its oversight of Office of Internal
Affairs investigations pursuant to subdivision (a).
(California Penal Code section 6133 (b) (1))

— State of California
Excerpted from Penal Code sections

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  1

Summary
The Office of the Inspector General (the OIG) has been monitoring
and reporting on the internal investigations and employee disciplinary
process of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
(the department) since 2005, under the authority granted by California
Penal Code sections 6126 (a) and 6133. This report is our 32nd semiannual
report, in which we detail our assessment of 138 employee misconduct
cases OIG attorneys monitored and closed from July 1, 2020, through
December 31, 2020. Concerning the 138 cases we monitored and closed
within this time frame, the department’s overall performance for these
cases was poor.
The department’s performance was satisfactory in discovering and
referring misconduct cases, making initial determinations regarding
the referrals, performing the investigation, and providing legal advice
during the investigation. However, the department’s performance was
poor when making and processing investigative and disciplinary findings
regarding alleged misconduct, and providing legal representation
during litigation. Figure 1 below depicts each assessment area and the
corresponding percentages.

Figure 1. The OIG’s Overall Rating of the Department’s Investigative and Discipline Process
During the Period From July Through December 2020

Superior
Satisfactory
Poor

Performance Ratings by Indicator

100%

66%

Poor
Overall
Rating

90%

Overall
Weighted
Average

138

Cases
Monitored
by the OIG

80%

70%

71%

72%

70%

70%
64%

64%

60%

50%

1

Discovery
and Referral

2

Initial
Determination

3

Investigation

4

Findings

5

Legal Advice
During
Investigation

6

Legal
Representation
During Litigation

Source: The Office of the Inspector General Tracking and Reporting System.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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2  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

During this reporting period, the performance indicator most
significantly affecting the department’s poor performance was the
department’s investigative and disciplinary findings after the Office
of Internal Affairs completed its investigation. Of the cases in which
the department made investigative and disciplinary findings, the
department’s performance was poor in 53 of the 119 cases, or 45 percent.
Further, the hiring authorities did not timely consult with the OIG
and a department attorney regarding the sufficiency of the evidence,
investigation, findings, and disciplinary determinations in 42 of 119 cases,
or 35 percent. The department’s untimely service of disciplinary actions
also affected this performance indicator. Of the 66 cases in which
the department served a disciplinary action on a peace officer, the
department failed to timely serve the disciplinary action in 35 of the
66 cases, or 53 percent. Likewise, in cases for which the department
provided legal representation during litigation, the department’s
performance was poor in 32 of the 69 cases, or 46 percent.
To assess the department’s performance, we divided the investigative and
disciplinary process into six specific units of measurement referred to as
performance indicators (indicators). The purpose of these six indicators is
to provide a more direct assessment of the three departmental entities
we monitor: hiring authorities, the Office of Internal Affairs, and the
department attorneys from the Office of Legal Affairs’ Employment
Advocacy and Prosecution Team.
Using the six indicators, we measured the following activities: the
hiring authorities’ performance in discovering and referring employee
misconduct cases to the Office of Internal Affairs, how well hiring
authorities made investigative and disciplinary findings regarding the
alleged misconduct, and how well they processed the cases; the Office
of Internal Affairs’ performance in processing employee misconduct
referrals submitted by hiring authorities and its performance
investigating misconduct allegations; and the department attorneys’
legal advice during the Office of Internal Affairs’ handling of the cases,
as well as the performance of department advocates, such as department
attorneys and employee relations officers, in litigating employee
disciplinary cases.
OIG attorneys who monitored the cases answered various complianceor performance-related questions concerning each of the six indicators.
In addition, they rated each of the six indicators as superior, satisfactory,
or poor based on the collective answers to the indicator questions. They
then analyzed each case as a whole to determine an overall rating for
each case, using the same descriptors. From there, they assigned a
point value to each indicator rating and case rating (discussed in detail
in the Methodology section of this report), resulting in a percentage
figure we used to arrive at an overall rating of each departmental unit’s
performance using the six indicators. We also used the same method to
assess the department as a whole in its handling of a matter from the

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  3

time a hiring authority referred an employee misconduct allegation
to the Office of Internal Affairs to the conclusion of any employee
misconduct litigation for the period of July 1, 2020, through
December 31, 2020. Using this methodology, we concluded the
department’s overall performance was poor when conducting
internal investigations and handling employee misconduct cases
for the cases we monitored and closed from July 1, 2020, through
December 31, 2020.
For more details concerning the cases the OIG monitored and
closed during this reporting period, individuals may directly access
our discipline monitoring case summaries on the OIG website
(www.oig.ca.gov). If viewing this report on our website, click on
the image below to be taken to our interactive dashboard. Once
there, to review the case summaries, choose the following settings:
• From the pull-down menu in the Reporting Period field, choose 2020-2
• For the other filters, choose ALL; these include

○ Case Number, Case Type, Division or Mission, Region, Allegation, Finding, Penalty, and Case Rating
○ Leave date delimiter fields empty (Incident Start Date and Incident End Date)
Filter Selection Panel

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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4  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

Hiring Authorities
Although hiring authorities’ performance in timely referring employee
misconduct allegations to the Office of Internal Affairs has been an
ongoing concern we have raised in five prior semiannual reports,
during our last reporting period, we determined that hiring authorities
performed in a satisfactory manner overall in discovering allegations
of employee misconduct and referring the allegations to the Office of
Internal Affairs during the January through June 2020 reporting period,
with 79 percent of cases timely referred and only 21 percent untimely
referred. During the present reporting period, July 1, 2020, through
December 31, 2020, the percentage of timely referrals declined. We
found the department referred 70 percent of cases timely and 30 percent
untimely. Overall, the OIG remains concerned about the timeliness of
referrals because such delays could affect the Office of Internal Affairs’
ability to conduct thorough investigations before the deadline to take
disciplinary action. In addition, the delays could impact the timely
service of disciplinary actions on employees found to have committed
misconduct, which for officers,26 is within one year of the discovery of the
alleged misconduct.27 In addition, hiring authorities set poor examples
for their staff when the hiring authority does not follow departmental
policy for referrals. It is hypocritical for hiring authorities to hold their
staff to a standard of following policy when they themselves refuse to
follow policy to which they are subject.
We also assessed hiring authorities concerning the quality and
timeliness of their decision-making regarding Office of Internal
Affairs’ investigations, allegations, the processing of the cases, and the
service of disciplinary actions. We determined that hiring authorities’
performance was poor in these areas in part because hiring authorities
timely conducted investigative and disciplinary findings conferences in
only 65 percent of the cases. However, despite delayed investigative and
disciplinary findings conferences, hiring authorities made appropriate
determinations regarding the allegations in 110 of 119 cases in which
they made findings, or 92 percent of the cases. Further, hiring authorities
decided to impose discipline in 87 of the 119 cases. Of these 87 cases in
which hiring authorities decided to impose discipline, in our opinion,
hiring authorities selected the appropriate penalty in 70 of 87 cases, or
80 percent.
For those 87 cases in which hiring authorities decided to impose
discipline, especially on peace officers, hiring authorities continued
to delay service of disciplinary actions, significantly impacting the
overall poor assessment, another concern we have raised in the past.

26. In this report, we use the word officer when referring to correctional peace officers;
these include correctional officers, sergeants, lieutenants, parole agents, special agents,
and so forth.
27. California Government Code section 3304 (d) (1).

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  5

The department did not serve disciplinary actions on peace officers
within 30 days of the decision to impose discipline, which departmental
policy requires, in 53 percent of the cases. As it follows, the department
timely served disciplinary actions on peace officers in accordance
with departmental policy in only 47 percent of the cases. Again, it
is hypocritical for hiring authorities to refuse to follow policy while
expecting their staff to follow policy. This poor leadership sets a
bad example.

The Office of Internal Affairs
Office of Internal Affairs’ special agents are responsible for processing
employee misconduct referrals submitted by hiring authorities. They
also conduct internal investigations. Between July and December 2020,
we found the Office of Internal Affairs performed overall in a satisfactory
manner when processing referrals from hiring authorities and when
conducting investigations. To reach this conclusion, OIG attorneys
answered approximately 49 questions for each monitored investigation
to assess the performance of the Office of Internal Affairs. The questions
measure the performance of Office of Internal Affairs’ special agents
from their initial processing of hiring authority referrals, the actual
investigation of allegations, the preparation of reports, the performance
of any follow-up investigation requested by hiring authorities, and the
timeliness of these activities. (Some assessment questions did not apply
to certain cases. For example, some questions assess the effectiveness
of criminal investigative techniques. Those questions are not applicable
to Office of Internal Affairs’ administrative investigations.) If a special
agent conducted a proper, thorough, and timely investigation, the Office
of Internal Affairs received a satisfactory rating for that case. In those
instances in which the Office of Internal Affairs’ special agent went
above and beyond what was expected of him or her, then the Office of
Internal Affairs received a superior rating. Therefore, in stating that the
Office of Internal Affairs performed overall in a satisfactory manner, we
conclude that it overall met the standards expected of those performing
internal investigations. To that end, we found that the Office of Internal
Affairs timely processed referrals from hiring authorities in 93 percent of
the cases, that it conducted thorough investigations in 95 percent of the
cases, and that it completed thorough investigative reports in 99 percent
of the cases.
We determined, however, the Office of Internal Affairs needed
improvement in its initial decision-making concerning hiring authority
referrals. From July through December 2020, the Office of Internal
Affairs made decisions regarding 1,063 employee misconduct referrals
from hiring authorities. The Office of Internal Affairs received some
of these referrals before July 1, 2020. Of these 1,063 referrals, the OIG
disagreed with the Office of Internal Affairs’ decision in 259 cases
(24 percent). As in the past, the nature of the disputes included the Office
of Internal Affairs’ decisions to not add allegations to investigations,

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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6  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

such as dishonesty or domestic violence allegations, or its decisions
to not open full investigations rather than return the referral to hiring
authorities to address the misconduct allegations without investigations.
One of the areas in which we regularly disagreed with the Office
of Internal Affairs in its initial decision-making concerning hiring
authority referrals included referrals in which officers were alleged to
have engaged in off-duty misconduct involving contact with outside law
enforcement. We regularly recommended administrative investigations,
or, at the least, an interview of the officer. The Office of Internal Affairs,
however, regularly found that sufficient information supported the
alleged misconduct without the need for an interview or investigation,
and returned the referral to the hiring authority for the hiring authority
to take direct disciplinary action.
Of the 259 referrals for which we disagreed with the Office of Internal
Affairs’ decision in some aspect, 51 of those referrals involved officer
contact with outside law enforcement. In 18 of the 51 referrals, officers
were allegedly involved in verbal or physical altercations with domestic
partners, the public, or other officers. In 22 of the 51 referrals, officers
allegedly drove under the influence of alcohol or were intoxicated in
public. The remaining 11 of 51 referrals included various allegations, such
as officer arrests for allegedly trespassing, allegedly failing to cooperate
during noise complaint investigations, or for allegedly engaging in public
masturbation or sexual contact with minors. In only 12 of the 51 referrals,
or 24 percent, did the Office of Internal Affairs approve interviews of the
officers or full administrative or criminal investigations. For 37 of the
51 referrals, or 73 percent, the Office of Internal Affairs determined that
sufficient information supported the alleged misconduct and returned
the referral to the hiring authority for the hiring authority to take
disciplinary action without the need for an interview or investigation.
In contrast, in 44 of the 51 cases, or 86 percent, we recommended an
investigation or at least an interview of the officer.
For the 138 cases the OIG monitored and closed during the July through
December 2020 reporting period, we found the Office of Internal
Affairs improved its performance in timely completing deadly force
investigations. For this reporting period, the Office of Internal Affairs
did not complete deadly force investigation within 90 days as required
by the department’s internal time frames for completing investigations
in two of the seven deadly force investigations, or 29 percent. This is an
improvement compared with the January through June 2020 reporting
period, during which the Office of Internal Affairs did not timely
complete deadly force investigations in six of 11 cases, or 55 percent.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  7

Department Attorneys
The third departmental unit we assessed consists of attorneys from its
Office of Legal Affairs’ Employment Advocacy and Prosecution Team.
These attorneys provided legal advice to the Office of Internal Affairs
during its decision-making process regarding hiring authority referrals,
as well as throughout an investigation if a department attorney was
assigned to the case. In addition, department attorneys provided legal
representation to hiring authorities for some cases during the employee
disciplinary process.
We found that department attorneys performed overall in a satisfactory
manner in providing legal advice to the department while the Office of
Internal Affairs processed employee misconduct referrals and conducted
investigations. For cases we monitored and closed from July through
December 2020, department attorneys provided appropriate consultation
in 70 percent of the cases. However, they still delayed making entries
into the department’s case management system regarding critical dates
in 19 of 117 cases, or 16 percent. Failing to enter critical dates on time
could cause hiring authorities to untimely impose discipline because the
critical dates are not properly tracked.
However, we found department attorneys’ performance during litigation
to be poor. The primary reason for the poor assessment was untimely
service of disciplinary actions. Departmental policy requires that the
department serve disciplinary actions on officers within 30 days of the
hiring authority’s decision to take disciplinary action. To comply with
this policy, the department attorney or employee relations officer must
draft the disciplinary action with sufficient time to serve the disciplinary
action and must ensure that the department serves the disciplinary
action within the 30-day time frame mandated by departmental policy. In
addition, the department must also serve the disciplinary actions before
the deadline to take disciplinary action expires, which as noted above, is
within one year of the discovery of the alleged misconduct for officers.28
In 34 of the 67 cases, or 51 percent, department attorneys did not ensure
that the department served the disciplinary action on an officer within
30 days of the hiring authority’s decision to take disciplinary action, and
in one case, the department attorney did not ensure that the department
served the disciplinary action on an officer within the one-year deadline
to take disciplinary action.

28. California Government Code section 3304 (d) (1).

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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8  |  Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

Summary of Facts: Monitoring Internal Investigations and the
Employee Disciplinary Process of the California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation, July–December 2020
Types of Cases the OIG Monitored and Closed During the Period
From July Through December 2020

T

he Office of the Inspector General (the OIG)
is mandated by the California Penal Code
to provide oversight of internal investigations
and employee discipline cases of the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (the
department), and to advise the public regarding
the adequacy of each investigation and whether
employee discipline is warranted. Since 2005, the
OIG has fulfilled its mission to bring transparency
to investigations and employee discipline through
diligent and trustworthy monitoring, reporting, and
recommending improvements to the department.

Subject-Only
Interview
25
Cases

(18%)

Direct Action
Cases

N = 138

29

65

(47%)

(21%)

19

(14%)

Criminal
Investigations

Administrative
Investigations

Note: Numbers may not sum to
100 percent due to rounding.
Source: The Office of the Inspector
General Tracking and Reporting System.

The Six Indicators Used to Assess the Department’s Performance
Hiring Authorities’ Performance in
Discovering and Referring Employee
Misconduct Cases to the Office of
Internal Affairs

The Office of Internal Affairs’
Performance in Conducting
Investigations

Indicator 2

Department Attorneys’
Performance in Providing
Legal Advice

Indicator 4

Indicator 3

Indicator 1

Indicator 5

The Office of Internal Affairs’
Performance in Processing the
Hiring Authorities’ Referrals

Hiring Authorities’ Performance
in Making Findings on the
Allegations, Identifying the
Appropriate Penalty, and Service
of the Disciplinary Action

Overall Ratings for the July Through December 2020 Reporting Period

Overall Rating: Poor
Overall Weighted Average: 66%

Results & Percentages
Superior

Satisfactory

Poor

100% – 80%

79% – 70%

69% – 50%

Indicator 1 – Hiring Authorities
Indicator 2 – Office of Internal Affairs

71%
72%

Indicator 4 – Hiring Authorities

64%

Indicator 6 – Department Attorneys

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

70%
64%

Department Attorneys’
Performance in Representing
the Department During
Litigation

Recommendations to Address Delays
by Special Agents in Commencing Investigations and
Delays by Hiring Authorities in Direct Action Cases

1.

Develop and implement a policy that requires
Office of Internal Affairs’ special agents to conduct
the first investigative interview within 45 days of
case assignment.

2.

Implement and enforce a bright-line rule requiring
hiring authorities to hold investigative and
disciplinary findings conferences within 14 days of
either receiving the case from the Office of Internal
Affairs or receiving authorization from the Office
of Internal Affairs to move forward with direct
disciplinary action.

70%

Indicator 3 – Office of Internal Affairs
Indicator 5 – Department Attorneys

Indicator 6

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  9

Introduction
Background
As discussed in the Summary, the California Penal Code mandates the
Office of the Inspector General (the OIG) to provide oversight of and
report on the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s
(the department) internal investigations and employee disciplinary
process. Whenever a hiring authority reasonably believes an employee
committed misconduct or engaged in criminal activity, the hiring
authority must timely submit a referral to the department’s Office
of Internal Affairs’ Central Intake Unit, requesting an investigation
or approval to address the allegations without an investigation.29
Participants from the Office of Internal Affairs, department attorneys
from the Employment Advocacy and Prosecution Team, and the OIG
comprise a Central Intake Panel, which meets weekly to review the
misconduct referrals from hiring authorities. The Office of Internal
Affairs leads the meetings, and department attorneys provide legal advice
to the Office of Internal Affairs. The OIG monitors the process, provides
recommendations to the Office of Internal Affairs regarding decisions on
referrals, and determines which cases the OIG will monitor. The Office
of Internal Affairs, not the panel, makes the final decision regarding the
action it will take on each hiring authority referral. The options are:
•

To conduct an administrative investigation;30

•

To conduct a criminal investigation;31

•

To conduct only an interview of the employee (or employees)
suspected of misconduct and no other investigative activity;

•

To authorize the hiring authority to take direct action against
the employee regarding the alleged misconduct without an
investigation or interview of the employee (or employees)
suspected of misconduct;

•

To reject the referral without further action concerning the
allegation or allegations because there is no reasonable belief
misconduct occurred; or

29. Department Operations Manual, Section 33030.5.2 (hereafter: the DOM). The DOM is
defined in the table of terms found at the beginning of this report.
30. Elsewhere in this report, we also refer to an administrative investigation as a full
administrative investigation or a full investigation.
31. While a criminal investigation is conducted to investigate whether there is a criminal
law violation (leading to a potential criminal conviction with incarceration, criminal fines,
or probation), an administrative investigation is conducted, generally, to determine whether
there is a violation of policies, procedures, or California Government Code section 19572
allegations (leading to employee disciplinary action, such as dismissal from State
employment, demotion, suspension from work, salary reduction, or a letter of reprimand).

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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10  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

•

To reject the referral and return it to the hiring authority to
conduct further inquiry.32

The OIG’s activities included monitoring the Office of Internal Affairs’
investigations that meet our monitoring criteria, as set forth on the next
page, and evaluating the performance of the special agents’ investigative
work. We also monitored department attorneys’ performances during
internal investigations, as well as the work of department advocates,
including department attorneys and employee relations officers, in any
subsequent disciplinary and litigation process. Finally, we assessed how
well hiring authorities performed in determining allegations of employee
misconduct, including the imposition of discipline, and how well they
processed the misconduct cases.
The information discussed in this report concerns the 138 cases
we monitored and closed during the period from July through
December 2020, including assessments of each departmental unit’s
performance in individual cases. Further, we detail herein the
administrative cases in which the Office of Internal Affairs conducted an
investigation or interview of an employee suspected of misconduct, cases
in which the hiring authority made decisions regarding the investigation
and allegations, and, if the hiring authority imposed discipline on an
employee, any appeal process regarding the disciplinary action.
Our discussion also includes cases in which the Office of Internal Affairs
returned referrals to the hiring authority to address the allegation or
allegations based on the evidence available without any investigation,
as well as cases wherein the Office of Internal Affairs conducted an
investigation, but the hiring authority did not sustain allegations.
To ensure the integrity of the entire process, we do not report the
complete details of a case until all administrative proceedings have
been completed.
Finally, because the OIG also monitored cases involving alleged criminal
conduct, we included the details of criminal investigations we monitored
and closed during the period from July through December 2020. We
reported these cases once the Office of Internal Affairs referred its
criminal investigation to the appropriate prosecuting agency for filing
consideration or determined there was insufficient evidence to refer
the matter.

32. An allegation inquiry is the collection of preliminary information concerning an
allegation of employee misconduct necessary to evaluate whether the matter shall be
referred to the Office of Internal Affairs’ Central Intake Unit (DOM, Sections 31140.3 and
31140.14). Generally, a hiring authority conducts an initial inquiry before submitting an
employee misconduct referral to the Office of Internal Affairs’ Central Intake Unit. The
Office of Internal Affairs’ Central Intake Unit sometimes requests that hiring authorities
conduct an additional inquiry.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  11

Scope and Methodology
Scope
Consistent with prior reporting periods, the OIG monitored and
assessed the department’s more serious internal investigations of alleged
employee misconduct, such as cases involving alleged dishonesty, code
of silence, use of force, and criminal activity. Because officers are held
to a higher standard of conduct, which was the core focus of the Madrid
case (889 F. Supp. 1146 (N.D. Cal. 1995)) pursuant to which we began
monitoring the department’s internal investigations and employee
discipline cases, we once again concentrated our efforts on peace
officer employee discipline cases. Table 1 below lists criteria we used to
determine which cases to monitor.

Table 1. Monitoring Criteria Used by the Office of the Inspector General
Madrid-Related Criteria*

OIG Monitoring Threshold

Use of Force

Use of force resulting in, or which could have resulted in, serious injury
or death or discharge of a deadly weapon.

Dishonesty

Perjury; material misrepresentation in an official law enforcement
report; failure to report a use of force resulting in, or which could
have resulted in, serious injury or death; or material misrepresentation
during an internal investigation.

Obstruction

Intimidating, dissuading, or threatening witnesses; retaliation against
an incarcerated person or against another person for reporting
misconduct; or the destruction or fabrication of evidence.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct prohibited by California Penal Code section 289.6.

High Profile

Cases involving alleged misconduct by high-ranking department
officials; misconduct by any employee causing significant risk to
institutional safety and security, or for which there is heightened public
interest, or resulting in significant injury or death to an incarcerated
person, ward, or parolee (excluding medical negligence).

Abuse of Position
or Authority

Unorthodox punishment or discipline of an incarcerated person, ward,
or parolee; or purposely or negligently creating an opportunity or
motive for an incarcerated person, ward, or parolee to harm another
incarcerated person, ward, parolee, staff, or self, i.e., suicide.

Criminal Conduct

Trafficking of items prohibited by the California Penal Code or criminal
activity that would prohibit an officer, if convicted, from carrying a
firearm (all felonies and certain misdemeanors such as those involving
domestic violence, brandishing a firearm, and assault with a firearm).

* Madrid v. (Gomez) Cate (N.D. Cal. 1995) 889 F.Supp. 1146 (citation (URL) accessed on 10-9-20).

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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12  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

Based on information the Office of Internal Affairs provided, from
July 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020, the Office of Internal Affairs
received 1,057 referrals, most of them with information hiring authorities
submitted electronically using a process the department implemented on
November 20, 2019. Of the 1,057 referrals, the Office of Internal Affairs
received a small portion, 19 referrals, from hiring authorities using a
printed form called the “Office of Internal Affairs’ Confidential Request
for Internal Affairs Investigation/Notification of Direct Adverse Action,”
also known as Form 989. Between July 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020,
the Office of Internal Affairs made decisions concerning a total of
1,063 referrals, some of which it received before July 1, 2020. Of the
1,063 referrals for which it made decisions, the Office of Internal Affairs
found that in 960 referrals (90 percent), there was sufficient evidence to
approve the hiring authority’s request for investigation or approval to
take direct disciplinary action on the misconduct allegations. For the
other 103 referrals (10 percent), the Office of Internal Affairs determined
there was insufficient evidence of employee misconduct or criminal
activity and, therefore, rejected those referrals.
Of the 1,063 referrals, the Office of Internal Affairs returned
497 referrals (47 percent) to hiring authorities to take direct action on
employee misconduct allegations without pursuing a full investigation
or an interview of the employee who was alleged to have engaged
in misconduct. The Office of Internal Affairs approved interviews
of employees suspected of misconduct, but not full administrative
investigations, in 132 of 1,063 cases (12 percent). These are cases in
which the Office of Internal Affairs determined that, in order for a
hiring authority to make decisions regarding the allegation, it was only
necessary to interview the subject of the investigation and not conduct
any other investigative work, such as interviewing other witnesses
or collecting other evidence. In total, the Office of Internal Affairs
determined that, in 629 of 1,063 referrals (59 percent), it did not need to
conduct a full administrative investigation.
The Office of Internal Affairs determined full administrative
investigations were warranted in 244 of 1,063 referrals (23 percent).
Investigations may include interviewing the employees suspected of
misconduct; interviewing percipient witnesses, including incarcerated
persons and private citizens, depending on the nature of the alleged
misconduct; and obtaining additional documentary evidence, such
as computer forensic reports. Lastly, the Office of Internal Affairs
concluded there was enough evidence to warrant criminal investigations
in 87 of 1,063 referrals (8 percent).33 Generally, once the Office of
Internal Affairs approved the referrals, the referrals became cases. Cases
that required full investigations typically involved the most serious
misconduct and, therefore, constituted the highest percentage of cases
we monitored. From July through December 2020, the OIG identified
113 cases (12 percent) for monitoring of the 960 referrals in which the
33. Numbers may not sum to 100 percent due to rounding.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  13

Office of Internal Affairs approved the hiring authority’s request for
investigation, interview, or request to directly address an employee
misconduct allegation.
Of the 113 cases the OIG identified for monitoring, 53 cases (47 percent)
involved an administrative investigation, and 13 cases (12 percent)
involved a criminal investigation. In 26 of the 113 cases (23 percent) the
OIG identified for monitoring, the Office of Internal Affairs decided
there was sufficient evidence available for the hiring authority to address
the misconduct allegations without any investigation. In 21 of the
113 cases (19 percent) we identified for monitoring, the Office of Internal
Affairs decided the only investigative work needed was an interview
of the employee suspected of misconduct. The OIG began monitoring
these 113 cases the Office of Internal Affairs approved for investigation,
employee interview, or direct action in the July through December 2020
reporting period. Elsewhere in the report, we mention that we are
reporting on 138 cases that the OIG monitored and closed during the
July through December 2020 reporting period.
Figure 2 below presents the number of cases opened by the Office of
Internal Affairs from July through December 2020, the types of cases, and
the number of each case type the OIG accepted for monitoring.
Figure 2. Decisions the Office of Internal Affairs Made Concerning Hiring
Authority Referrals and Cases the OIG Accepted for Monitoring During the
Period From July Through December 2020
Administrative
Investigations

53

191

244

Monitored
Subject-Only
Interview Cases

21

Direct
Action Cases

26

Criminal
Investigations 13

111

Not Monitored

132

471

74

87

497

Total: N = 1,063
OIG: N = 113

Rejected

103

0

100

103

200

300

400

500

Sources: The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Case Management System and
the Office of the Inspector General Tracking and Reporting System.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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14  |  Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

Figure 3 below presents the percentages of each case type we accepted
during the monitoring period.

Figure 3. Percentages of Each Case Type the OIG Accepted for Monitoring
During the Period From July Through December 2020

Subject-Only
Interview
Cases

21

(19%)

N = 113
Direct
Action
Cases

26

53

(47%)

Administrative
Investigations

(23%)

12

(11%)

Criminal
Investigations
Note: Numbers may not sum to 100 percent due to rounding.
Source: The Office of the Inspector General Tracking and Reporting System.

Not all of the cases we accepted for monitoring during this reporting
period were completed and closed before December 31, 2020. We only
provide a final assessment of a case once we conclude our monitoring
and close it. This report provides an assessment of 138 cases the OIG
monitored and closed from July 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020,
some of which were opened before July 1, 2020. Of the 138 cases the
OIG monitored and closed between July 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020,
119 cases involved alleged administrative misconduct. The remaining
19 cases involved alleged employee criminal activity. Among the 138 cases
we monitored and closed, 123 involved peace officers, eight involved
employees who were not peace officers, and seven involved both peace
officers and employees who were not peace officers.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  15

Figure 4 below presents the percentages of case types the OIG monitored,
closed, and is reporting for the July through December 2020 period.

Figure 4. Types of Cases the OIG Monitored and Closed During the Period
From July Through December 2020

Subject-Only
Interview
Cases
25

(18%)

Direct
Action
Cases

29

N = 138

(21%)

65

(47%)

Administrative
Investigations

19

(14%)

Criminal
Investigations

Note: Numbers may not sum to 100 percent due to rounding.
Source: The Office of the Inspector General Tracking and Reporting System.

Many cases have more than one allegation or allegation type;
consequently, the total number of allegations exceeds the number of cases
we monitored and closed. For example, one case involved allegations that
outside law enforcement arrested an officer after the officer allegedly
grabbed his wife’s neck and squeezed it, threw property belonging to his
wife onto a street, and drove a vehicle in front of another vehicle, causing
a collision. The officer also allegedly lied to outside law enforcement,
did not cooperate with them, disobeyed a lieutenant’s order to submit
a report regarding the incident, and lied during an Office of Internal
Affairs’ interview. Although there was only one case, the case involved
four types of allegations. Figure 5 on the next page includes the number
of unique allegations in the cases we monitored from July through
December 2020.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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16  |  Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

Figure 5. Allegation Distribution in Administrative Cases the OIG Monitored and Closed During the Period
From July Through December 2020

Dishonesty

106

Neglect of Duty

97

Use of Force

81

Conduct or Inefficiency

61
31

Integrity

30

Off-Duty Incidents
Discrimination / Harassment

28

Failure to Report

26

Discourteous Treatment

26

Controlled Substance

25

Other Failure of Good Behavior

17

Threat / Intimidation

16

Misuse of Authority

14

Confidential Information

13

Overfamiliarity

12

Contraband

12

Code of Silence

12

Failure to Comply

9

Weapons

7

Sexual Misconduct

6

Battery

6

Weapons: Lethal and
Less-Lethal While on Duty

5

Insubordination
Intoxication

N = 649

3
2

Traffic-Related Incidents
1
While On Duty
Retaliation 1

Misuse of State Equipment
or Property 1
Assault 1
0

20

40

60

80

100

Number of Allegations
Note: The total number of allegations exceeds the number of cases we monitored and closed because several cases involve more than
one allegation against the subject of the case.
Source: The Office of the Inspector General Tracking and Reporting System.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  17

Methodology
During the January through June 2019 reporting period, the OIG
implemented a new methodology to provide more specific assessments
of each of the department’s units and its compliance with policies
and procedures. Specifically, the OIG developed an assessment
tool consisting of six performance indicators broken down by
departmental unit: hiring authorities, the Office of Internal Affairs,
and department attorneys. Based on the data collected and reported
for the January through June 2019 reporting period, through the July
through December 2020 reporting period, we believe this approach
achieves our goal of providing a more accurate and detailed analysis
of the department’s performance. As such, we are continuing to
use this methodology herein. The following list describes the six
performance indicators:
•

Indicator 1: How well a hiring authority discovered and referred
allegations of misconduct to the Office of Internal Affairs,
including the timeliness of the referral and the quality of the
inquiry preceding the referral.

•

Indicator 2: How well the Office of Internal Affairs’ Central
Intake Unit processed the hiring authority’s referral, including
the Office of Internal Affairs’ Central Intake Unit special agent’s
analysis of the referral, the Office of Internal Affairs’ decision
regarding the referral, and the timeliness of the decision.

•

Indicator 3: The timeliness and effectiveness of the Office of
Internal Affairs’ performance in conducting investigations.

•

Indicator 4: The hiring authority’s performance after the Office
of Internal Affairs returned the case following an investigation
or interview, or after authorizing the hiring authority to take
direct action on the allegations, including the hiring authority’s
findings on the allegations, identification of the appropriate
disciplinary penalty, and service of any disciplinary action.

•

Indicator 5: The department attorney’s performance in providing
legal advice to the Office of Internal Affairs as special agents
processed and analyzed hiring authority employee misconduct
referrals and conducted investigations.

•

Indicator 6: How well the department attorney or employee
relations officer represented the department during litigation,
including the composition of the disciplinary action and
advocacy during administrative hearings before the State
Personnel Board.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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18  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

The OIG also developed compliance- or performance-related questions
concerning each indicator, again with the goal of providing a more
thorough assessment of the department’s performance. The OIG
attorneys assigned to monitor each case answered the questions, rated
each of the six indicators for each case as superior, satisfactory, or poor,
and finally, assigned an overall rating for each case, using the same
rating terminology.
Although we examined the department’s compliance with its own
policies and procedures in arriving at the rating for each indicator,
we also used our own judgment and opinion of the quality of the
department’s performance from the time a hiring authority referred
the allegation, during any subsequent investigation, and upon the
completion of any appeal process if a hiring authority took disciplinary
action. In addition, while procedural errors alone may not have
necessarily resulted in a poor assessment, more significant or numerous
departures from policy resulted in such a rating, because such departures
may have resulted in harm to the department or the public. Delayed
investigations or discipline could increase costs and even increase
the potential for harm by allowing unsuitable or dishonest employees
to continue working. Delays can also have a negative effect on the
employees suspected of misconduct due to the stress and anxiety
employees and their family members may endure while waiting for the
outcome. Consequently, such identifiable harm often results in a poor
assessment rating.
For the July through December 2020 reporting period, the OIG used the
same numerical point value assigned to each of the individual indicator
ratings and to the overall rating for each case that we used for the last
three reporting periods: the January through June 2019 reporting period,
the July through December 2019 reporting period, and the January
through June 2020 reporting period. The point system is as follows:

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

Superior		

4 points

Satisfactory

3 points

Poor			

2 points

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  19

The collective value of the assigned points is divided by the total number
of points possible to arrive at a weighted average score. The following
hypothetical example consisting of 10 cases illustrates this system. For
10 cases, the maximum point value (denominator) is 40 points (10 cases
multiplied by four points). If the department scored two superior results,
five satisfactory results, and three poor results, its raw score (numerator)
would be 29 points. The weighted average score is obtained by dividing
29 by 40, yielding a score of 72.5 percent, as given in the hypothetical
equation below.
Equation. Scoring Methodology
[ ( 2 superior x 4 points ) + ( 5 satisfactory x 3 points ) + ( 3 poor x 2 points ) ]
( 10 cases x 4 points )

We assigned the final ratings of superior, satisfactory, and poor to weighted
averages as follows:
Superior: weighted averages between 100 percent and 80 percent;
Satisfactory: weighted averages between 79 percent and 70 percent;
Poor: weighted averages between 69 percent and 50 percent.34
Using the example above, the summary-level rating would be satisfactory
because the weighted average score of 72.5 percent was between
79 percent and 70 percent.
Results & Percentages
Superior

Satisfactory

Poor

100% – 80%

79% – 70%

69% – 50%

On the next page, we offer a brief overview of the six indicators and the
corresponding performance ratings for the period of this report.

34. As we assign a minimum of two points to each rating, the minimum weighted average
percentage value is 50 percent.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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20  |  Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

Figure 6. The Six Indicators Used to Assess the Department’s Performance, and the Department’s
Overall Ratings From July Through December 2020

Hiring Authorities’
Performance in
Discovering and Referring
Employee Misconduct
Cases to the Office of
Internal Affairs

The Office of
Internal Affairs’
Performance
in Conducting
Investigations

Department Attorneys’
Performance in
Providing Legal Advice

Indicator 2

Indicator 4

Indicator 6

Indicator 3

Indicator 1

The Office of Internal
Affairs’ Performance in
Processing the Hiring
Authorities’ Referrals

Indicator 5

Hiring Authorities’
Performance in Making
Findings on the
Allegations, Identifying
the Appropriate Penalty,
and Service of the
Disciplinary Action

Overall Rating: Poor
Overall Weighted Average: 66%

Indicator 1 – Hiring Authorities
Indicator 2 – Office of Internal Affairs
Indicator 3 – Office of Internal Affairs
Indicator 4 – Hiring Authorities
Indicator 5 – Department Attorneys
Indicator 6 – Department Attorneys

Source: The Office of the Inspector General.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

Department Attorneys’
Performance in
Representing the
Department During
Litigation

Results & Percentages
Superior

Satisfactory

Poor

100% – 80%

79% – 70%

69% – 50%

70%
71%
72%
64%
70%
64%

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  21

Monitoring Results
The Department’s Overall Performance in
Investigating Employee Misconduct and in
Handling Its Employee Disciplinary Process
Was Poor
During the July through December 2020 reporting period, the OIG found
the department’s overall performance in investigating allegations of
employee misconduct and handling its employee disciplinary process
to be poor. The process began when the hiring authority discovered
potential misconduct and referred the allegations to the Office of
Internal Affairs or when the Office of Internal Affairs opened a case on
its own. The case concluded when one of the following occurred:
1.

The hiring authority sustained an allegation and imposed
discipline, and the employee:
b.

Accepted the penalty; or

c.

Filed an appeal, and the resulting litigation at the
State Personnel Board or in the California courts
was resolved; or

d. Entered into a settlement regarding the disciplinary
action; or
2.

The hiring authority sustained an allegation, but later withdrew
the discipline; or

3.

The hiring authority decided to impose discipline, but the
employee resigned or retired before the hiring authority imposed
discipline; or

4.

The hiring authority determined there was insufficient evidence
to sustain the allegations or that the allegations were unfounded.

The department’s handling of a criminal case ended when the Office
of Internal Affairs completed its criminal investigation and either
submitted the investigation for filing consideration to a prosecuting
agency, such as a county district attorney’s office, the State of California
Office of the Attorney General, or the Offices of the United States
Attorneys at the U.S. Department of Justice, or determined there was
insufficient evidence for a criminal referral.
The OIG’s overall assessment of the department’s effectiveness in
handling cases involving investigations into employee misconduct and
the employee disciplinary process is based on a cumulative assessment
of our six identified indicators. Two indicators are assigned to each of
three involved departmental units: the hiring authority; the Office of

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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22  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

Internal Affairs; and the department attorney. The OIG based its rating
for each of the six indicators on the answers to specific compliance- or
performance-related questions. To answer the questions, we used the
standards outlined in the Department Operations Manual and other
established procedures, such as the Office of Internal Affairs’ Field
Guide and its deadly force investigations procedures memoranda, as well
as our opinion of best practices.
Indicator 1 and Indicator 4 applied to hiring authorities’ performances.
Answers to the questions in Indicator 1 determined how well the hiring
authority discovered and referred allegations of employee misconduct
to the Office of Internal Affairs, and the answers to the questions
in Indicator 4 assessed how well the hiring authority determined its
findings regarding alleged misconduct and processed the misconduct
cases. Because hiring authorities do not make any investigative or
disciplinary findings in criminal cases, Indicator 4 did not apply in cases
involving criminal investigations.
We used information from the answers to Indicator 2 to assess how
well the Office of Internal Affairs’ Central Intake Unit analyzed hiring
authority referrals of employee misconduct, whereas the answers to
the questions in Indicator 3 determined how well the Office of Internal
Affairs conducted investigations, interviewed employees suspected of
misconduct, and prepared investigative reports. If the Office of Internal
Affairs did not conduct an investigation or interview of the employee
suspected of misconduct, Indicator 3 did not apply.
The two remaining indicators applied to department attorneys, if any
were assigned.35 The answers to the questions in Indicator 5 determined
our assessment regarding how well the department attorney provided
legal advice to the Office of Internal Affairs when it processed referrals
of suspected employee misconduct from the hiring authority and when
the Office of Internal Affairs conducted administrative investigations.
Because the department does not assign department attorneys to its
criminal investigations, only the first six questions in Indicator 5 applied
to department attorneys in cases involving criminal investigations,
to assess how well the department attorney provided legal advice
to the Office of Internal Affairs while it addressed hiring authority
referrals. For administrative cases, we also used Indicator 5 to assess
the department attorney’s performance during the investigative and
disciplinary findings conference the hiring authority conducted.
Finally, we used Indicator 6 to assess how well the department
attorney (or employee relations officer, if the case was not assigned to a
department attorney) handled employee discipline litigation.

35. The department does not assign an attorney to every internal investigation or employee
discipline case.

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  23

After considering the ratings for our six indicators, we found the
department’s overall performance was poor. Specifically, we assessed
the department’s overall performance as satisfactory in 86 cases and poor
in 52 cases. We did not find that the department’s overall performance
was superior in any of the cases. Table 2 below displays the department’s
overall ratings by case type.

Table 2. Ratings by Case Type: Superior, Satisfactory, and Poor

Case Type

Superior

Satisfactory

Poor

Total

Full Administrative
Investigation

None

58% (34 cases)

42% (25 cases)

100% (59 cases)

Criminal Investigation

None

83% (15 cases)

17% (3 cases)

100% (18 cases)

Direct Action

None

55% (16 cases)

45% (13 cases)

100% (29 cases)

Direct Action With
Subject Interview

None

64% (16 cases)

36% (9 cases)

100% (25 cases)

Administrative Use of
Deadly Force

None

67% (4 cases)

33% (2 cases)

100% (6 cases)

Criminal Use of Deadly
Force

None

100% (1 case)

None

100% (1 case)

Totals

None

62% (86 cases)

38% (52 cases)

100% (138 cases)

Source: The Office of the Inspector General Tracking and Reporting System.

Further, we found the department’s overall performance was poor in
conducting internal investigations and handling employee discipline
cases, and the overall percentage score was 66 percent. For the 52 cases
we assessed as poor overall, the combined assessment score was
50 percent. The indicator ratings for the 52 cases we rated as poor can be
seen in Table 3 on the next page.

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24  |  Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

Table 3. Assessment Indicators for 52 Cases
Rated as Poor

Ratings
Superior Satisfactory

N = 52
OIG Case
Number

Discovery
and Referral

Initial
Determination

Investigation

Findings

17-0000120-DM
17-0023100-DM
17-0023570-DM
18-0027632-DM
18-0028046-DM
19-0028353-DM
19-0028737-DM
19-0028973-DM
19-0029271-CM
19-0029571-DM
19-0029575-DM
19-0029757-DM
19-0030113-DM
19-0030183-DM
19-0030184-DM
19-0030412-DM
19-0030482-DM
19-0030588-DM
19-0030867-DM
19-0031148-DM
19-0031233-DM
19-0031322-DM
19-0031392-DM
19-0031396-DM
19-0031461-DM
19-0031468-DM
19-0031702-DM
19-0031705-DM
19-0031803-DM
19-0031873-DM
19-0031904-DM
19-0031912-CM
19-0031920-CM
19-0031940-DM
19-0031998-DM
19-0032001-DM
19-0032014-DM
19-0032133-DM
20-0032279-DM
20-0032677-DM
20-0032732-DM
20-0032735-DM
20-0032823-DM
20-0032992-DM
20-0033351-DM
20-0033729-DM
20-0033819-DM
20-0034111-DM
20-0034112-DM
20-0034153-DM
20-0034740-DM
20-0034741-DM

Note: A gray block in a column indicates this category was not applicable.
Source: The Office of the Inspector General Tracking and Reporting System.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

Legal Advice
During
Investigation

Legal
Representation
During
Litigation

Poor

Case
Rating

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  25

The following presents information concerning three cases in which all
three departmental units performed poorly:
•

In one case, an incarcerated person decapitated another
incarcerated person in a cell the two individuals shared. Two
officers conducted counts and, even though an incarcerated
person was dead, allegedly falsely reported in their
documentation that they observed the decapitated incarcerated
person alive. A third officer and a fourth officer allegedly did not
report that they had each observed the first two officers fail to
properly conduct the counts. The first officer also allegedly lied
during his Office of Internal Affairs’ interview. The special agent
who conducted the investigation did not interview several key
witnesses and did not investigate whether officers appropriately
placed the incarcerated persons together in a cell. Further,
the hiring authority delayed conducting the investigative and
disciplinary findings conference, delayed serving disciplinary
actions on the officers, and entered into settlement agreements
that reduced the penalties without identifying any new evidence,
flaws, or risks that would have justified the reductions. In the
OIG’s opinion, the department attorney should have requested
additional investigation regarding whether officers appropriately
placed the two incarcerated persons in the same cell, and should
have recommended that the hiring authority dismiss the first
officer due to the serious nature of both his actions and the
consequences. In addition, the department attorney delayed
drafting the disciplinary actions for the first and second officers,
resulting in the department serving the disciplinary actions
36 and 46 days after policy required.

•

In a second case, an officer allegedly ignored an incarcerated
person who was kicking a cell door and yelling he was
suicidal, failed to report the incarcerated person had covered
a cell window and was unresponsive, failed to ensure he saw
the incarcerated person alive during security checks and
incarcerated person counts, and falsely documented he saw the
incarcerated person alive during security checks and counts.
A second officer also allegedly failed to ensure she saw the
incarcerated person alive during two incarcerated person
counts. A psychiatric technician allegedly failed to conduct a
direct observation of the incarcerated person during her clinical
rounds, falsely documented she engaged in a conversation with
the incarcerated person when she had not, and allegedly lied
during an interview with the Office of Internal Affairs. The
Office of Internal Affairs delayed conducting and completing the
investigation, the hiring authority for the psychiatric technician
delayed conducting the investigative and disciplinary findings
conference, the department attorney delayed preparing the

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26  |  Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

disciplinary actions, and the hiring authority for the officers
delayed serving the disciplinary actions and should have
dismissed the first officer.
•

In the third case, after four incarcerated persons attacked a fifth
incarcerated person with makeshift weapons on an exercise
yard, an officer fired a shot from a Mini-14 rifle, striking one
of the attacking incarcerated persons and stopping the attack.
The Deadly Force Review Board found the officer’s use of
force did not comply with policy because the officer fired an
alleged warning shot into an unsafe area where the bullet either
directly hit, or ricocheted and hit, the incarcerated person. The
department’s performance was deemed poor because prison staff
waited five hours to obtain a statement from the officer who
fired the shot (a public safety statement that addressed safety
issues such as where the officer fired the shot and whether
anyone was injured), and because the Office of Internal Affairs
delayed in obtaining reports, did not identify or interview critical
witnesses, did not confer with the OIG upon initiating the
case, and did not cooperate with the OIG while the OIG was on
scene. Further, in the OIG’s opinion, the hiring authority should
have added and sustained a dishonesty allegation, and imposed
a higher penalty because the officer said he fired a warning
shot into a safe area 30 feet away from the incarcerated person.
The evidence showed the bullet wound resulted from a direct
impact, however, rather than from a shot that ricocheted. The
department attorney should have recommended that the hiring
authority add and sustain a dishonesty allegation, and impose a
higher penalty based on the evidence.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  27

Indicator 1: The Performance by Hiring Authorities in Discovering and
Referring Allegations of Employee Misconduct Was Satisfactory
Pursuant to a memorandum the Office of Internal Affairs issued on
July 20, 2014, hiring authorities are required to refer matters of suspected
employee misconduct to the Office of Internal Affairs within 45 days
of discovering the alleged misconduct. We based our assessment in
part on this procedure, as well as on departmental policy governing the
responsibilities of hiring authorities, including the responsibility to
conduct initial inquiries to ensure there is sufficient information before
referring a matter to the Office of Internal Affairs.36 For the July through
December 2020 reporting period, we found that hiring authorities
performed in a satisfactory manner in discovering and referring
allegations of employee misconduct to the Office of Internal Affairs. In
one case, we found the hiring authorities’ performance in discovering
and referring misconduct allegations garnered a superior assessment
rating, whereas we found poor performance in 30 cases. In 107 cases, we
assessed the hiring authorities’ performance as satisfactory.

Indicator Score

Satisfactory
(70%)

Superior
One case
Satisfactory
107 cases
Poor
30 cases

We determined that hiring authorities were still late in submitting
matters to the Office of Internal Affairs, a concern we have raised in
the past. Although hiring authorities improved slightly for the cases we
monitored and closed during the January through June 2020 reporting
period to only 21 percent for untimely referrals, the percentage of
untimely referrals increased again for the 138 cases we monitored and
closed during this July through December 2020 reporting period to
30 percent of cases that hiring authorities untimely referred. This was
the same percentage we observed for the cases we monitored and closed
during the July through December 2019 reporting period, when hiring
authorities also untimely referred 30 percent of cases we monitored.
For the 30 cases in which we assessed the hiring authorities’ performance
as poor in discovering and referring allegations of employee misconduct
to the Office of Internal Affairs, we found untimely referrals in 26 cases,
which is 87 percent of those cases with overall poor assessments,
indicating that a late referral is a major factor in the poor assessment.
Although a late referral does not necessarily result in a poor assessment,
it has been the most common factor in hiring authorities’ assessments
that were poor.
Further, for all cases we closed between July and December 2020, the
longest delay by a hiring authority in submitting a referral to the Office
of Internal Affairs was 305 days, 10 months after policy required. For the
cases we closed between July and December 2020, the second-longest
delay was 219 days after policy required, and the shortest delay was

36. Refers to DOM, Section 33030.5.2, which sets forth the requirement that hiring
authorities are to submit employee misconduct referrals to the Office of Internal Affairs’
Central Intake Unit, and the Office of Internal Affairs’ Memorandum dated June 20, 2014,
which sets forth the time frames for hiring authorities to submit referrals.

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28  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

46 days after learning of the alleged misconduct, or one day after
policy required.
On the other hand, hiring authorities timely referred matters to the
Office of Internal Affairs in the one case we assessed as superior and
for 91 of the cases we assessed as satisfactory for this indicator. In the
one case we assessed as superior, four officers and a sergeant allegedly
failed to immediately initiate life-saving measures after discovering an
incarcerated person hanging from a noose in a cell. Although we assessed
this case as poor overall due to poor performance in other performance
indicators, the hiring authority’s performance in referring the matter to
the Office of Internal Affairs in just 12 days warranted a superior rating
for this performance indicator.
During the July through December 2020 reporting period, delayed
referrals by hiring authorities most frequently occurred in cases that
involved allegations of neglect of duty, followed by allegations of
dishonesty. Hiring authorities did not timely refer matters involving
alleged neglect of duty in 36 percent of those cases and did not timely
refer cases involving dishonesty in 33 percent of those cases. The
following are examples of delayed referrals. The first involves allegations
of neglect of duty, and the second two involve allegations of both neglect
of duty and dishonesty:
•

In one case, an officer allegedly publicly displayed at work her
disciplinary action that identified the names of the officers
who reported her misconduct. The hiring authority did not
refer the matter to the Office of Internal Affairs until 350 days
after the department learned of the misconduct, 305 days after
policy required.

•

A second case involved a senior youth counselor who allegedly
encouraged a ward to accept sole responsibility for a fight he had
with another ward, withheld information and dismissed behavior
reports (issued to wards for disciplinary violations) in an effort
to influence Juvenile Parole Board decisions, failed to properly
investigate before dismissing ward behavior reports, and lied
during an Office of Internal Affairs’ interview. A treatment team
supervisor allegedly withheld information and also dismissed
behavior reports in an effort to influence Juvenile Parole Board
decisions. The hiring authority did not refer the matter to the
Office of Internal Affairs until 133 days after the department
learned of the alleged misconduct, 88 days after policy required.

•

In a third case, an officer allegedly observed incarcerated persons
fighting in a dormitory and did not stop the fight; used profanity,
which was directed toward the incarcerated persons; did not
sound his personal alarm; failed to notify a sergeant of injuries
sustained by the incarcerated persons; made false statements to

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  29

the sergeant regarding the incident; and later submitted a false
memorandum. The hiring authority did not refer the matter to
the Office of Internal Affairs until 97 days after the department
learned of the misconduct, 52 days after policy required.
The department is divided into different divisions, such as the
Division of Adult Institutions and the Division of Juvenile Justice. The
department groups the hiring authorities from the Division of Adult
Institutions into different collectives of prisons, called missions. These
missions include General Population, High Security, Female Offender
Programs and Services/Special Housing, and Reception Centers. For all four
missions, the hiring authorities’ performance in referring suspected
misconduct allegations to the Office of Internal Affairs either remained
unchanged from the January through June 2020 reporting period or the
performance worsened.
For the January through June 2020 reporting period, hiring authorities
from the four missions timely referred suspected misconduct allegations
to the Office of Internal Affairs as follows: General Population,
69 percent of referrals; High Security, 82 percent of referrals; Female
Offender Programs and Services/Special Housing, 88 percent of referrals;
and Reception Centers, 79 percent of referrals. In contrast, for the July
through December 2020 reporting period, hiring authorities from
the General Population mission timely referred suspected misconduct in
64 percent of referrals; High Security in 79 percent of referrals; Female
Offender Programs and Services/Special Housing, 85 percent of referrals;
and Reception Centers, 60 percent of referrals.
For cases the OIG monitored and closed between July and
December 2020, hiring authorities determined that dismissal was the
appropriate penalty in 39 cases. In 13 of those 39 cases, or 33 percent,
in which hiring authorities initially determined dismissal was the
appropriate penalty, they did not timely identify and refer those
allegations of serious misconduct to the Office of Internal Affairs. In the
prior reporting period of January through June 2020, hiring authorities
delayed referring such matters to the Office of Internal Affairs in five of
45 cases, or 11 percent. The percentage of delayed referrals in dismissal
cases tripled from one period to the next.
In one of the cases we closed between July and December 2020 in which
the hiring authority initially determined dismissal was the appropriate
penalty, the hiring authority delayed 133 days after discovering the
alleged misconduct and 88 days after policy required in referring the
matter to the Office of Internal Affairs. After the investigation, the hiring
authority sustained allegations that a senior youth counselor failed to
properly investigate the dismissal of ward behavior reports (issued to
wards for disciplinary violations) and was dishonest during an Office
of Internal Affairs’ interview; the hiring authority, therefore, dismissed
the senior youth counselor. The senior youth counselor filed an appeal

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30  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

with the State Personnel Board. Following a hearing, the State Personnel
Board upheld the dismissal and the senior youth counselor petitioned
for a rehearing, which the State Personnel Board denied. The senior
youth counselor filed a writ with the superior court, which the court
granted, finding that the department violated the Public Safety Officers
Procedural Bill of Rights Act when it continued to gather evidence of
the dishonesty allegation beyond the one-year statute of limitations
period; the court returned the matter to the State Personnel Board. In
accordance with the superior court’s ruling, the State Personnel Board
dismissed the dishonesty allegation, but not the allegation that the senior
youth counselor failed to properly investigate the dismissal of ward
disciplinary reports and reduced the penalty to a six-month suspension.
In another case, an officer allegedly planned with and received bribes
from incarcerated persons, their family members, and their friends to
introduce mobile phones into a prison, then lied during an Office of
Internal Affairs’ interview. The hiring authority delayed 50 days after
policy required in referring the matter to the Office of Internal Affairs.
The officer resigned before the disciplinary action took effect.
In a third case, an officer allegedly observed incarcerated persons
fighting in a dormitory and did not stop the fight, used profanity directed
toward the incarcerated persons, did not sound his personal alarm,
failed to notify a sergeant of injuries sustained by the incarcerated
persons, made false statements to the sergeant regarding the incident,
and submitted a false memorandum about the incident. The hiring
authority delayed 32 days after policy required to refer the matter to the
Office of Internal Affairs. After issuing the officer a disciplinary action
for dismissal, the hiring authority ultimately entered into a settlement
agreement with the officer during a State Personnel Board hearing,
reduced the penalty to a one-year suspension, removed the disciplinary
action from the officer’s official personnel file, and agreed that the hiring
authority should dismiss the officer if the officer incurred any sustained
dishonesty allegations within the next two years, with the officer waiving
any right to appeal the dismissal.
In the remaining cases, the officers resigned or retired in five cases,
received nonpunitive terminations in two cases, received a modified
salary reduction in one case, had his termination action upheld in
another case, and in the final case, the hiring authority withdrew the
officer’s disciplinary action after a supplemental investigation.
Below are other examples of incidents involving serious allegations in
which hiring authorities delayed referring alleged misconduct to the
Office of Internal Affairs:

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  31

•

In one case, an officer allegedly engaged in sexual activity
with and provided mobile phones, drugs, and tobacco to an
incarcerated person. The hiring authority did not refer the
matter to the Office of Internal Affairs until 115 days after
learning of the alleged misconduct, 70 days after policy required.

•

In a second case, an officer allegedly received a bribe from and
conspired with an incarcerated person to bring cigarettes and
mobile phones into a prison. The hiring authority did not refer
the matter to the Office of Internal Affairs until 93 days after
learning of the alleged misconduct, 48 days after policy required.

Figure 7 below presents the percentages of timely hiring authority
referrals statewide over the last six reporting periods.
Figure 7. Percentages of Cases Hiring Authorities Referred to the Office of Internal
Affairs Within 45 Days
100%

80%

77%

76%

79%

77%
70%

60%

70%

40%

20%

0

Jan. – Jun. 2018

Jul. –Dec. 2018

Jan. – Jun. 2019

Jul. – Dec. 2019

Jan. – Jun. 2020

Jul. – Dec. 2020

Note: This figure reflects cases that the OIG monitored and closed during the period from July through
December 2020 and the five prior reporting periods.
Source: The Office of the Inspector General Tracking and Reporting System.

Figure 8 on the next page presents specific information regarding
hiring authority referrals by divisions and also by the Division of Adult
Institutions’ missions, as established by the department, for the reporting
period of July through December 2020, as well as for the two prior
reporting periods. The OIG reports the timeliness of hiring authority
referrals by division and mission because the department is divided into

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32  |  Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

different divisions, such as the Division of Adult Institutions or the
Division of Adult Parole Operations, with a separate director assigned
to oversee each division. As noted above, regarding the Division
of Adult Institutions, the department groups prisons into different
collectives of institutions, called missions, with a separate associate
director assigned to oversee each mission. The principal missions in
the Division of Adult Institutions are Female Offender Programs and
Services/Special Housing, General Population, Reception Centers, and
High Security.
Figure 8. Timely Hiring Authority Referrals by Divisions; Division of Adult Institutions’
Missions; and Other Hiring Authorities
Jul. – Dec. 2019

Jan. – Jun. 2020

100%

Jul. – Dec. 2020

100%

88%

80%

85%

82%

79%

75%

75%
67%

60%

79%

69%
64%

100%

67%
61%

60%

67%
57%

57%

40%
38%

20%

0

0

Missions of the Division of Adult Institutions

Female Offender
Programs and
Services / Special
Housing

General
Population

Reception
Centers

High Security

Division of
Adult Parole
Operations

Division of
Juvenile
Justice

Note: This figure reflects cases that the OIG monitored and closed during the period from July through
December 2020 and the two prior reporting periods.
Source: The Office of the Inspector General Tracking and Reporting System.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

0

Other Hiring
Authorities

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  33

Indicator 2: The Performance by the Office of Internal Affairs in
Processing and Analyzing Hiring Authority Referrals of Employee
Misconduct Was Satisfactory
After the Office of Internal Affairs received the referrals of alleged
misconduct from hiring authorities, it processed and analyzed those
referrals collectively in a satisfactory manner. We assessed the Office of
Internal Affairs’ performance as satisfactory in this indicator in 117 cases
we monitored and closed between July and December 2020. We assessed
the Office of Internal Affairs’ performance as poor in 21 cases and did not
find any superior performance during this reporting period.
Pursuant to departmental policy, the Office of Internal Affairs must
decide on a course of action regarding each hiring authority referral
within 30 days of receipt and meet weekly to review those referrals.
During this reporting period, the Office of Internal Affairs led the
weekly meeting and assigned a special agent from the Office of
Internal Affairs’ Central Intake Unit to review each case before the
meeting. The special agent prepared a written analysis of his or her
recommendations that included which employee subjects and allegations
were appropriate for the case. The special agent also recommended
whether the Office of Internal Affairs should approve an administrative
or criminal investigation, approve only an interview of the subject
of the investigation, return the case to the hiring authority without
an investigation or interview of the employee who was the subject of
the investigation, or reject the referral. OIG attorneys reviewed all
referrals and the special agents’ analyses, attended each weekly meeting,
provided recommendations to the department, and identified cases for
OIG monitoring.

Indicator Score

Satisfactory
(71%)

Superior
Zero cases
Satisfactory
117 cases
Poor
21 cases

Our assessment for this indicator is based on the Office of
Internal Affairs’ Central Intake Unit special agent’s analysis and
recommendations regarding the hiring authority’s referral, the Office of
Internal Affairs’ final decision regarding the referral, and the timeliness
of the Office of Internal Affairs’ decision. Although the special agent’s
analysis is a key consideration, we consider timeliness to be critical, as
timely initial determinations can impact the timeliness of any resulting
investigation, and the hiring authority’s determination and service of
discipline. Timeliness is critical because statute sets forth the deadlines
by which disciplinary actions must be served, and failure to meet the
deadlines could preclude the department from pursuing disciplinary
action against an employee.
For cases we monitored and closed between July and December 2020,
we determined that the Office of Internal Affairs made a timely
determination regarding hiring authority referrals in 93 percent of
the cases (128 of 138 cases). Similar to the January through June 2020
reporting period, in which the Office of Internal Affairs made a timely
determination in 98 percent of the cases, the Office of Internal Affairs

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34  |  Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

again performed well. Figure 9 below shows the percentages of cases
for which the department made timely determinations over the last six
reporting periods.
Figure 9. Percentages of Cases With Timely Determinations Made by the
Office of Internal Affairs’ Central Intake Unit

100%

97%

96%

Jan. – Jun. 2018

Jul. –Dec. 2018

98%

97%

Jan. – Jun. 2019

Jul. – Dec. 2019

98%

93%

80%

60%

40%

20%

0

Jan. – Jun. 2020

Jul. – Dec. 2020

Note: This figure reflects cases that the OIG monitored and closed during the period from July through
December 2020 and the five prior reporting periods.
Source: The Office of the Inspector General Tracking and Reporting System.

As in the past, we disagreed with the Office of Internal Affairs regarding
some of its decisions concerning hiring authority referrals. For referrals
the Office of Internal Affairs processed from hiring authorities between
July 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, we disagreed with the Office of
Internal Affairs’ decisions in 259 of 1,063 cases (24 percent). In 57 of
these 259 cases, we disagreed with more than one decision, such as both
the decision to deny an investigation and whether to add an allegation.
For each case submitted to the Office of Internal Affairs, the Office
of Internal Affairs is required to decide whether there is sufficient
evidence to open a full investigation and, if so, whether the nature of the
allegations warrants a criminal or administrative investigation; whether
to return the matter to the hiring authority to decide appropriate action
without an investigation; whether to approve an interview of the subject
of the investigation; or whether to reject a case for further local inquiry
or because there is no reasonable belief misconduct occurred. The Office

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  35

of Internal Affairs also decides who the appropriate subjects of the
investigation will be and the specific allegations against them.
If we believe the Office of Internal Affairs made an unreasonable
decision, we may elevate the Office of Internal Affairs’ decision to its
management. For the 259 cases in which we disagreed with the Office of
Internal Affairs’ decision from July 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020,
we elevated 29 cases to Office of Internal Affairs’ management. After
these 29 decisions were elevated, the Office of Internal Affairs approved
or approved in part the OIG’s recommendations in seven cases.
For the 138 cases the OIG monitored and closed during the period of July
through December 2020, the OIG disagreed with decisions made by the
Office of Internal Affairs’ Central Intake Unit in 28 cases (17 percent).
Figure 10 on the next page lists these disagreements.

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36  |  Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

Figure 10.

Disagreements With Office of Internal Affairs’ Decisions
Regarding Hiring Authority Referrals in the 138 Cases
the OIG Monitored and Closed From July Through December 2020
5
2
9
7

OIA’s decision to not open a full administrative investigation
(and OIA returned the case to the hiring authority without
an investigation or interview of the subject)

OIA’s decision to not open a full administrative investigation
(but approved an interview of the subject)

OIA’s decision to not add a dishonesty allegation
OIA’s decision to not add another allegation
(not dishonesty)

3

OIA’s decision to either remove or not add a subject to a case

3

OIA’s decision to not approve an interview of a subject

1

OIA’s decision to not open an administrative investigation
simultaneously with a criminal investigation

2

OIA’s decision to not open a criminal investigation and instead
open an administrative investigation

1

OIA’s decision to not conduct further inquiry before making
a decision concerning the case

33

Total Disagreements

Notes: In this figure, the abbreviation OIA refers to the Office of Internal Affairs.
Of the 138 cases, the OIG disagreed with the Office of Internal Affairs in 28 cases. In
two of those 28 cases, the OIG recommended interviewing subjects because statute
prohibits the hiring authority from taking disciplinary action based solely on an arrest
report. However, we did not assess OIA negatively for not approving the interviews.
In nine of the 28 cases, the OIG disagreed with more than one decision, and in the
remaining 14, we disagreed with one decision.
From July through December 2020, OIA made decisions regarding
1,063 hiring authority referrals and rejected 103 of those referrals.
The OIG disagreed with 16 of the rejections.
Source: The Office of the Inspector General Tracking and Reporting System.

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  37

Indicator 3: The Performance by the Office of Internal Affairs in
Investigating Allegations of Employee Misconduct Was Satisfactory
Once the Office of Internal Affairs decided to conduct either an
administrative or criminal investigation, or to interview an employee
suspected of misconduct, it assigned a special agent to conduct the
investigation or interview. The Office of Internal Affairs has a regional
office and a headquarters office in Sacramento, and regional offices
in Bakersfield and Rancho Cucamonga. The Office of Internal Affairs
typically assigns the special agent based on the geographic location
of the prison of the employee suspected of misconduct. For the cases
the OIG monitored and closed from July through December 2020, we
found that the Office of Internal Affairs’ performance in investigating
allegations of employee misconduct was satisfactory overall. The
OIG determined that the Office of Internal Affairs’ performance
was satisfactory in 96 cases and poor in 13 cases. We found no superior
performance during this reporting period.

Indicator Score

Satisfactory
(72%)

Superior
Zero cases
Satisfactory
96 cases
Poor
13 cases

The OIG considered several factors in completing assessments for
this indicator, including whether the Office of Internal Affairs timely
assigned a special agent to the case; the special agent’s preparedness for
the investigation; whether the special agent completed the investigation
with due diligence; the special agent’s compliance with departmental
policy and the Office of Internal Affairs’ field guide; the thoroughness
and quality of the investigation and interviews; and whether the special
agent adequately consulted with the hiring authority, a department
attorney, and an OIG attorney.
As noted in the Summary of this report, OIG attorneys answered a series
of approximately 49 assessment questions to measure the performance of
Office of Internal Affairs’ special agents. Some assessment questions did
not apply to certain cases. For example, some questions were applicable
to only those cases in which the Office of Internal Affairs conducted
criminal investigations, but not administrative investigations. If a special
agent conducted a proper, thorough, and timely investigation, the Office
of Internal Affairs received a satisfactory rating for that case. In those
cases in which the Office of Internal Affairs’ special agent went above
and beyond what was expected of him or her, then the Office of Internal
Affairs received a superior rating.
For cases the OIG monitored and closed between July through
December 2020, the OIG concluded that special agents completed all
necessary and relevant interviews in 97 percent of cases, and asked
all relevant questions and used effective interviewing techniques
in 100 percent of the cases. Further, special agents thoroughly and
appropriately conducted investigations in 95 percent of cases. Special
agents included all relevant facts and evidence in 98 percent of their
reports, and addressed all appropriate allegations in all except one of
their reports.

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38  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

The Office of Internal Affairs improved its timeliness in completing
deadly force investigations.
Between July and December 2020, the OIG monitored and closed seven
cases the Office of Internal Affairs investigated regarding the use of
deadly force. Six of these cases involved administrative investigations,
and the remaining case involved a criminal investigation. The OIG
assessed six cases as satisfactory, despite finding in one of the satisfactory
cases that special agents did not comply with the department’s
internal time frame for completing the investigation. Pursuant to
the department’s deadly force investigation procedures, Office of
Internal Affairs’ special agents were required to complete deadly force
investigations within 90 days of assignment.37
For the deadly force cases the OIG monitored and closed between July
and December 2020, special agents completed deadly force investigations
within 90 days of assignment in five of the seven deadly force cases, or
71 percent. This is an improvement from the January through June 2020
reporting period, during which the Office of Internal Affairs timely
completed deadly force investigations in five of 11 cases, or 45 percent.
Of the two deadly force investigations not completed within the required
time frame between July and December 2020, the longest delay was
175 days after the incident (85 days after policy required). Both delays
involved administrative investigations.
Of the seven deadly force investigation cases, six cases involved incidents
in which the shooter aimed at or near an individual, or in some cases,
animals. In one case, as approximately 100 incarcerated persons
participated in a riot on an exercise yard, officers deployed chemicalagent grenades and fired less-lethal rounds. An officer fired three shots
for effect from a Mini-14 rifle, stopping the riot. In another case, after
an incarcerated person attacked a second incarcerated person on an
exercise yard, an officer fired a shot from a Mini-14 rifle, striking the
first incarcerated person in the lower back. A second officer fired a
less-lethal round, and a sergeant struck the first incarcerated person on
his left shoulder with a baton twice, stopping the attack. In a third case,
an off-duty officer allegedly discharged a firearm and shot a round near
the feet of a process server who was attempting to serve a subpoena on
the officer’s mother. The officer also allegedly unnecessarily identified
herself as a peace officer and lied to outside law enforcement, and later
sustained a misdemeanor conviction for brandishing a firearm in relation
to the incident.
Figure 11 presents the numbers and types of deadly force used in the
incidents the OIG monitored and closed during the July through
December 2020 reporting period. The number is greater than the
number of deadly force cases because in some cases, departmental
staff used more than one instance of deadly force. For example, in the
37. Office of Internal Affairs’ Deadly Force Investigations Team Procedures, June 6, 2007.

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  39

Ruger Mini-14 .223 caliber rifle

Figure 11.

Number and Types of Deadly Force Used
in Cases We Monitored and Closed
From July Through December 2020
Totals

Shots for Effect
Less-Lethal Round
Total

9
1
10

Source: The Office of the Inspector General Tracking
and Reporting System. Figures are for the period from
July through December 2020.
Photographs courtesy of the Department of Corrections
and Rehabilitation.

case described above, when approximately 100 incarcerated persons
participated in a riot on an exercise yard, departmental staff used four
instances of deadly force: an officer fired three shots for effect from a
Mini-14 rifle, stopping the riot, and officers also used less-lethal rounds,
one of which struck an incarcerated person on the face, and he sustained
a broken jaw.
In addition, in one case, one incident gave rise to both an administrative
and a criminal investigation, but we count each use of force only once
because there was only one incident.

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40  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

Indicator Score

Poor
(64%)

Superior
One case
Satisfactory
65 cases
Poor
53 cases

Indicator 4: The Performance by Hiring Authorities in Determining
Findings Regarding Alleged Misconduct and Processing the
Misconduct Cases Was Poor
After the Office of Internal Affairs returned a matter to the hiring
authority without an investigation or after completing an administrative
investigation or interview of an employee suspected of misconduct,
the hiring authority met with the OIG and the department attorney, if
assigned, to determine the appropriate disposition of the misconduct
allegations. As long as the hiring authority made reasonable attempts to
schedule the investigative and disciplinary findings conference within
14 days and held the conference within 30 days of receipt of the case,
we did not negatively assess a hiring authority for a late conference. If
the hiring authority sustained any allegations, the hiring authority also
determined whether to impose discipline and, if so, the type of discipline
to impose. The hiring authority was also responsible for serving any
disciplinary action within the required time frame. Between July and
December 2020, the OIG assessed the hiring authority’s performance
in these areas in 119 cases and determined that the hiring authorities’
overall performance in this indicator was poor. We assessed the hiring
authorities’ performance as superior in one case, satisfactory in 65 cases,
and poor in 53 cases.
We used this indicator to assess whether the hiring authorities
conducted the investigative and disciplinary findings conferences in
a timely manner, were adequately prepared for the conferences, made
appropriate investigative and disciplinary findings, and served the
disciplinary actions in a timely manner.

Hiring authorities often did not conduct investigative and disciplinary
findings conferences in a timely manner.
Although the department does not have a clear policy governing when
hiring authorities are required to conduct the investigative findings
conference, we assessed hiring authorities based on a 14-day time frame
pursuant to our interpretation of the Department Operations Manual.38
However, as long as the hiring authority made reasonable attempts to
schedule the findings and penalty conference within 14 days and held the
conference within 30 days of receipt of the case, we did not negatively
assess a hiring authority for a late conference. For the July through
December 2020 reporting period, the OIG found that hiring authorities
conducted investigative and disciplinary findings conferences or made
reasonable attempts to schedule the conference within 14 days in only
65 percent of the cases (77 of 119). Although this is a slight improvement
compared with the 63 percent considered timely in the January through
June 2020 reporting period, the number of delayed conferences is still

38. DOM, Section 33030.13.

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  41

of concern. Delayed conferences often resulted in untimely service of
disciplinary actions.
Untimely investigative and disciplinary findings conferences and delayed
service of disciplinary actions on peace officers were the primary reasons
for poor assessments. This was particularly true in cases involving
dishonesty allegations. In the 58 cases in which at least one employee
was suspected of being dishonest (cases containing allegations regarding
dishonesty or lack of integrity), the department did not conduct timely
investigative and disciplinary findings conferences in 22 of those cases,
or 38 percent.
Timely investigative and disciplinary findings conferences are crucial
because if the hiring authority finds an employee was dishonest, the
presumptive penalty would be dismissal from the department. Such
delays may unnecessarily extend the payment of salary and cause the
department to retain dishonest employees in positions in which they can
continue to inflict harm.

Hiring authorities often held untimely investigative and disciplinary
findings conferences in dismissal cases.
When hiring authorities decided to dismiss employees, they often
delayed in conducting investigative and disciplinary findings
conferences. During the July through December 2020 reporting
period, hiring authorities delayed in conducting the investigative and
disciplinary findings conferences in 13 of the 39 dismissal cases, or
33 percent. This was a slight decline in performance from the January
through June 2020 reporting period, when hiring authorities delayed in
conducting the investigative and disciplinary findings conferences in
27 percent of cases involving dismissals. Notably, in cases in which hiring
authorities decided to dismiss employees, but the employees resigned or
retired before the hiring authorities served disciplinary actions or prior
to the effective date of the disciplinary actions, hiring authorities delayed
conducting the investigative and disciplinary findings conferences in
eight cases.
•

Hiring authorities delayed conducting the investigative and
disciplinary findings conferences in seven cases in which they
decided to dismiss an employee and subsequently served a
disciplinary action for dismissal.

The longest delay was 232 days after policy required. In this case, the
hiring authority sustained allegations that a lieutenant allegedly grabbed
a handcuffed incarcerated person by the back of the neck, pushed his
face into a wall, placed his knee on the incarcerated person’s back, and
failed to report the use of force. The hiring authority decided to dismiss

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42  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

the lieutenant; however, the lieutenant retired before the department
served the disciplinary action.

The department did not serve disciplinary actions on officers within the
time frame set forth in policy in more than half of the cases in which
hiring authorities decided to impose discipline.
Of the cases the OIG monitored and closed between July and
December 2020, the OIG found that, once again, the department did not
perform well in timely serving disciplinary actions on peace officers.
Pursuant to policy, the department is required to serve disciplinary
actions on officers within 30 days of the hiring authority’s decision to
take disciplinary action. The hiring authority made his or her decision
at an investigative and disciplinary findings conference. A department
attorney, if one was assigned, attended the conference, and an OIG
attorney attended in those cases we monitored.
For the July through December 2020 reporting period, the department
served disciplinary actions on peace officers in 66 cases. Of those
66 cases, the department did not timely serve the disciplinary actions
in 35 cases, or 53 percent. For the previous reporting period of January
through June 2020, we found the department delayed serving disciplinary
actions on peace officers in 38 of 75 cases, or 51 percent. Between July
and December 2020, the shortest delay in serving peace officers with
a disciplinary action was 31 days after the hiring authority decided to
take disciplinary action, which was one day after policy required. The
longest delay was 162 days after the decision to take disciplinary action,
or 132 days after policy required. Thus, the department has continued
its practice of not serving disciplinary actions within the required
time frames.
Moreover, in cases the OIG monitored and closed during the July
through December 2020 reporting period, in two cases, the department
served the disciplinary actions after the deadline to take disciplinary
action had expired. In one case, a hiring authority determined that a
parole administrator and two supervising parole agents engaged in
misconduct associated with a mock-shooting training exercise at a prison
in which a parole agent pretended he had been shot. Not knowing that it
was a mock exercise and that the parole agent was not actually injured,
other parole agents hurriedly transported the purportedly injured parole
agent to a community hospital, damaging a State vehicle during the
transport. The hiring authority imposed salary reductions for the two
supervising parole agents and a suspension for the parole administrator
for exercising poor judgment in approving, planning, implementing,
or managing the training exercise. However, after a hearing, the State
Personnel Board revoked all three penalties because the department had

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  43

not served the disciplinary actions before the deadline to have done so
had expired.

Despite the overall poor assessment, hiring authorities made appropriate
investigative findings and penalty determinations in the majority of cases.
A hiring authority must prepare for the investigative and disciplinary
findings conference by reviewing all the available evidence. This
evidence could include the Office of Internal Affairs’ investigative
reports, reports from outside law enforcement agencies, audio and video
recordings, and other supporting documentation. The hiring authority,
department attorney, if assigned, and the OIG attorney, if monitoring
the case, consult to discuss the evidence and alleged misconduct. If
the hiring authority determines further evidence is needed to make a
fully informed decision regarding the allegations, the hiring authority
may request further investigation from the Office of Internal Affairs.
However, if the hiring authority determines there is sufficient evidence
to decide, then the hiring authority makes determinations regarding
the allegations and, if the allegations are sustained, decides whether to
impose corrective action or disciplinary action.
For cases monitored and closed between July and December 2020,
the OIG determined that hiring authorities identified the appropriate
subjects and allegations in 98 percent of the cases and made the
appropriate findings in 92 percent of those cases. In our opinion, hiring
authorities decided on the appropriate penalty in 80 percent of the
cases in which they decided to impose a penalty. Figure 12 on the next
page displays the findings hiring authorities made regarding allegations
presented to them for review.

In one case, the hiring authority performed in a superior manner by
conducting the investigative and disciplinary findings conference timely
and serving the disciplinary action within just eight days of the hiring
authority’s decision to dismiss the officer.
In one case, an officer allegedly tested positive for cocaine. The hiring
authority held the investigative and disciplinary findings conference
within 12 days of the Office of Internal Affairs’ authorization for the
hiring authority to take direct disciplinary action. Thereafter, the hiring
authority served the disciplinary action within just eight days of the
hiring authority’s decision to dismiss the officer.

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44  |  Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

Figure 12. Administrative Cases: Findings Determined by Hiring Authorities
N = 649

No Finding < 1%

Unfounded 2%

Exonerated 2%

Not Sustained 37%

Sustained 59%

Dishonesty
Neglect of Duty
Conduct or Inefficiency
Discrimination / Harassment
Discourteous Treatment
Controlled Substances
Off-Duty Incidents
Use of Force
Integrity
Threat / Intimidation
Failure to Report
Other Failure of Good Behavior
Misuse of Authority
Contraband
Failure to Comply
Overfamiliarity
Confidential Information
Code of Silence
Weapons
Sexual Misconduct
Battery
Weapons: Lethal and Less-Lethal
While on Duty
Insubordination
Traffic-Related Incidents
While on Duty
Retaliation
Misuse of State Equipment
or Property
Intoxication
Assault
80

60

40

20

0

20

Number of Findings on Allegations
Source: The Office of the Inspector General Tracking and Reporting System.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

40

60

80

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  45

For cases the OIG monitored and closed from July through
December 2020, the OIG determined that the department proposed
an unreasonable course of action, and the OIG subsequently sought
review by departmental executives in one case.
Policy provides that when either the OIG or the department attorney
believes a hiring authority made an unreasonable decision regarding
whether to sustain an allegation or regarding the discipline to be
imposed, either the OIG or the department attorney may elevate
that decision to the hiring authority’s supervisor for further review.
The desired outcome of this process of seeking additional review by
the hiring authority’s supervisor is to determine whether the hiring
authority’s decision is just and proper.39 If either the OIG or the
department attorney believes the hiring authority’s supervisor also made
an unreasonable decision, the matter may be presented to still higher
levels, such as a director, an undersecretary, or the Secretary of the
department. We use the executive review process only in very limited
cases (see Table 4, page 47).
Of the 119 administrative cases the OIG monitored and closed during the
July through December 2020 reporting period, the OIG sought a higher
level of review in one case. In that case, two officers allegedly pushed a
restrained and unresisting incarcerated person to the ground, and the
first officer punched him repeatedly, claiming that the incarcerated
person was biting one of his hands. A video of the incident did not depict
the incarcerated person resisting the officers. A third officer allegedly
witnessed the incident, but did not accurately report it. The second
officer and the third officer both allegedly wrote and submitted dishonest
reports concerning the incident. All three officers then allegedly
lied during interviews with the Office of Internal Affairs. The hiring
authority sustained the allegations. The OIG concurred. The department
attorney disagreed and elevated the matter, however, arguing that
none of the allegations could be sustained. At a higher level of review,
an associate director sustained the allegations and added dishonesty
allegations against the first two officers for lying during their Office of
Internal Affairs’ interviews and against one of the officers for writing
and submitting a false report, and decided dismissal was the appropriate
penalty for all the officers. The OIG concurred. The department attorney
again elevated the matter for a higher level of review. At the higher
level of review, a deputy director did not sustain any of the allegations.
The OIG did not agree regarding the allegations against the first two
officers and elevated the matter to a director. The director sustained
the allegations against the first two officers, including the dishonesty
allegations, and also decided dismissal was the appropriate penalty. The
department attorney disagreed and elevated the matter again, this time
to an undersecretary. The undersecretary sustained the allegations that
the officers used unnecessary force when they pushed the incarcerated
person to the ground, but did not sustain the allegation that the first
39. DOM, Section 33030.14.

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46  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

officer used excessive force when he punched the incarcerated person or
sustain the allegations the officers were dishonest; the undersecretary
then imposed a 60-working-day suspension on both officers. The OIG
did not concur.
According to a recommendation made by the department attorney,
the undersecretary later modified the first officer’s penalty to a sevenworking-day suspension, followed by a 5 percent salary reduction
for one month and a 10 percent salary reduction for 27 months. The
undersecretary also modified the second officer’s penalty to a fiveworking-day suspension, followed by a 5 percent salary reduction for one
month and a 10 percent salary reduction for 28 months. The department
attorney recommended the modifications so that the officers would
avoid paying the employer’s share of their health benefits. The OIG did
not concur. The officers filed appeals with the State Personnel Board.
At the prehearing settlement conference, the first officer entered into
a settlement wherein the department agreed to reduce the penalty
to a seven-working-day suspension, followed by a 5 percent salary
reduction for one month, a 10 percent salary reduction for two months,
and a 5 percent salary reduction for one month, agreed to remove the
disciplinary action from the officer’s official personnel file after six
months, and agreed to a provision in the settlement wherein the officer
did not admit any fault. The department also entered into a settlement
with the second officer and agreed to reduce the penalty to a fiveworking-day suspension, followed by a 5 percent salary reduction for one
month, a 10 percent salary reduction for two months, and a 5 percent
salary reduction for one month. The OIG did not concur.

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  47

Table 4. Executive Review Case
Case
Number

1

Summary
Two officers allegedly
pushed a restrained
and unresisting
incarcerated person to
the ground and the first
officer punched him
repeatedly, claiming
that the incarcerated
person was biting
one of his hands. A
video of the incident
did not depict the
incarcerated person
resisting the officers. A
third officer allegedly
witnessed the incident,
but did not accurately
report it. The second
and third officers
allegedly wrote and
submitted dishonest
reports concerning
the incident. The
officers then allegedly
lied during interviews
with the Office of
Internal Affairs.

Initial
Departmental
Position

Department
Attorney
Position

The hiring
authority
sustained the
allegations.

The
department
attorney
argued that
the allegations
could not
be sustained
and sought a
higher level
of review. At
the first level
of review,
an associate
director
sustained the
allegations
and added
dishonesty
allegations as
to the three
officers. The
department
attorney
again sought
a higher level
of review.

OIG
Position

Final
Disposition

The OIG concurred
with the hiring
authority’s and the
associate director’s
decisions to sustain
the allegations. At the
second level of review,
a deputy director did
not sustain any of the
allegations. The OIG
did not concur and
sought one further
level of review as to
the first two officers.
At the third level
of review, the OIG
did not concur with
the undersecretary’s
decision to not sustain
the allegation that
the first officer used
excessive force when
he punched the
incarcerated person
or the allegations
that the officers were
dishonest, and did
not concur with the
penalty. The OIG
also did not concur
with the settlement
agreements.

The undersecretary
sustained the allegations
that the officers used
unnecessary force
when they pushed the
incarcerated person to
the ground, but did not
sustain the allegation
that the first officer used
excessive force when he
punched the incarcerated
person or the allegations
that the officers were
dishonest, and imposed a
60-working-day suspension
as to both officers.
After the officers filed
appeals with the State
Personnel Board, at a
prehearing settlement
conference, the first officer
entered into a settlement
wherein the department
agreed to reduce the
penalty to a sevenworking-day suspension,
followed by a 5 percent
salary reduction for one
month, a 10 percent salary
reduction for two months,
and a 5 percent salary
reduction for one month,
and agreed to remove the
disciplinary action from the
officer’s official personnel
file after six months, and
agreed to a provision in
the settlement wherein the
officer did not admit any
fault. The department also
entered into a settlement
with the second officer
and agreed to reduce the
penalty to a five-workingday suspension, followed
by a 5 percent salary
reduction for one month, a
10 percent salary reduction
for two months, and a
5 percent salary reduction
for one month.

Source: The Office of the Inspector General Tracking and Reporting System.

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48  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

Indicator Score

Satisfactory
(70%)

Superior
Zero cases
Satisfactory
104 cases
Poor
28 cases

Indicator 5: The Performance by Department Attorneys in Providing
Legal Advice While the Office of Internal Affairs Processed Employee
Misconduct Hiring Authority Referrals and Conducted Internal
Investigations Was Satisfactory
For cases we monitored and closed from July through December 2020,
department attorneys performed in a satisfactory manner in providing
legal advice to the Office of Internal Affairs as the Office of Internal
Affairs’ Central Intake Unit processed employee misconduct referrals
from hiring authorities and during its internal investigations. We
assessed 104 cases as satisfactory and 28 cases as poor. We did not find the
department attorneys’ performance to be superior in any of the cases.
The department assigned attorneys to some of the cases in which the
Office of Internal Affairs conducted administrative investigations, but it
did not assign them to criminal investigations. The department assigned
attorneys in 108 cases we monitored and closed. In 89 of the 108 cases,
or 82 percent, the Office of Internal Affairs conducted investigations
or an interview of the subject alleged to have committed misconduct.
In 69 of 89 cases, or 78 percent, the legal advice was thorough and
appropriate.40 Department attorneys consulted with hiring authorities
regarding investigative findings in 108 cases. In 96 of these 108 cases,
or 89 percent, department attorneys’ consultation was appropriate. In
95 cases, department attorneys provided legal advice to hiring authorities
regarding disciplinary determinations. In 84 of the 95 cases, or
88 percent, department attorneys provided appropriate advice regarding
the disciplinary determinations.
Notwithstanding the performance noted above, department attorneys
still delayed making entries regarding critical dates into the department’s
case management system. Pursuant to policy, once department attorneys
are assigned a case, they have 21 days from assignment to enter into
a computerized case management system the date of the reported
incident, the date of discovery, the deadline for taking disciplinary
action, and any exceptions to the deadline known at the time. In 19 of
117 cases (16 percent) between July and December 2020, department
attorneys either did not make any entry into the case management
system regarding the relevant dates, or they made late or incomplete
entries. This is a slight improvement compared with the 20-percent
figure we noted in the January through June 2020 reporting period.
Of the 117 cases for which department attorneys or employee relations
officers entered the critical dates into the case management system,
they did not make correct entries in 11 of 117 cases, or 9 percent. This is
slightly worse than the 6 percent of cases for which department attorneys
or employee relations officers failed to correctly enter critical dates
between January and June 2020. Not only do other departmental units
and staff rely on these dates in performing their respective duties, but

40. Due to the uniqueness of each case, department attorneys did not necessarily perform
each function assessed by the questions in Indicator 5.

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  49

the dates are critical to ensuring that the disciplinary process, including
the service of any disciplinary action, is completed before the deadline
for the disciplinary action expires. Failing to enter critical dates on time
can preclude the hiring authority from imposing discipline because
the hiring authority relies on those dates to ensure timely service of a
disciplinary action. If the department attorney or employee relations
officer does not enter those dates, or enters them incorrectly, then the
hiring authority may not serve the disciplinary action before the deadline
to take disciplinary action, precluding the hiring authority from taking
any disciplinary action.

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50  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

Indicator Score

Poor
(64%)

Superior
One case
Satisfactory
36 cases
Poor
32 cases

Indicator 6: The Performance of Department Attorneys and Employee
Relations Officers in Providing Legal Representation During Litigation
Was Poor
For the cases we monitored and closed from July through
December 2020, we assessed department advocates’ performance
in providing legal representation to the department in 69 cases and
concluded the overall assessment rating was poor. We rated the
department’s performance in this indicator as superior in one case,
satisfactory in 36 cases, and poor in 32 cases.
In this indicator, we assessed the department’s legal representation
during litigation, which began with the preparation of any disciplinary
actions and ended with the completion of any appeal process to the
State Personnel Board or appellate court. During the July through
December 2020 reporting period, there were 69 cases in which the
department assigned an attorney or an employee relations officer to
provide legal representation during litigation. The department assigned
an attorney in all but six of the 69 cases. In these six cases, an employee
relations officer was responsible for handling the duties. Our assessment
did not distinguish between department attorneys and employee
relations officers, but assessed the department’s legal representation as
a whole.
The specific duties we assessed were the drafting of thorough and legally
adequate disciplinary actions in a timely manner, the representation of
the department at prehearing settlement conferences before the State
Personnel Board, the preparation of cases for evidentiary hearings, and
the litigation of cases before the State Personnel Board. If any party
pursued an appeal to the superior or appellate courts, department
attorneys handled those appeals, and the OIG continued monitoring
and assessing their representation of the department during the writ or
appeal proceedings. This indicator also included an assessment of the
timeliness of serving disciplinary actions on peace officers, although due
to some overlapping responsibilities with hiring authorities, this issue is
also assessed in Indicator 4.
In all but three of the cases with a poor assessment rating, the hiring
authorities delayed in serving disciplinary actions on peace officers
as discussed in the section addressing the assessments for Indicator 4
that begins on page 40. In the three cases with a poor assessment,
despite timely service of the disciplinary actions, we based the negative
assessments on a variety of issues. In one case, the department attorney
did not provide the OIG with a draft of a disciplinary action or consult
with the OIG before serving an amended disciplinary action on an
officer. In another example, the department attorney provided poor legal
advice when the attorney recommended that a hiring authority settle a
case based on the attorney’s perception of a witness’s testimony without
having actually talked to that witness and performed poorly when the
attorney failed to secure the testimony of another witness before a State

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  51

Personnel Board hearing. In a third case, the department attorney failed
to draft the disciplinary action at all and, instead, waited for the associate
warden to retire. The employee retired 82 days after the decision to take
disciplinary action and 52 days after policy required the disciplinary
action to be served.
The OIG’s assessment also included whether department attorneys and
employee relations officers prepared legally sufficient and thorough
disciplinary actions. For cases the OIG closed between July and
December 2020, department attorneys and employee relations officers
prepared disciplinary actions in 68 cases. Despite the overall poor
assessment for this indicator, we found that in 65 of the 68 cases in which
a department advocate prepared a disciplinary action, the department
advocate prepared disciplinary actions that contained the relevant facts,
relevant and legally supported causes of action, all factual allegations
hiring authorities sustained, and the correct penalties.

A department attorney performed in a superior manner by drafting the
disciplinary action within three days of the hiring authority’s decision to
dismiss the officer.
In one case, an officer allegedly tested positive for cocaine. The hiring
authority decided to dismiss the officer. The department attorney
performed in a superior manner by drafting the disciplinary action
and providing it to the hiring authority just three days after the hiring
authority’s decision. Thereafter, the department served the dismissal
action just eight days after the hiring authority’s decision.

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52  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

The Department Delayed in Processing
Dismissal Cases, Resulting in the Payment of
Approximately $174,578 to Ultimately Dismissed
Employees During the Delays
For the July through December 2020 reporting period, the OIG reviewed
the department’s delays in dismissal cases to determine how much the
department and taxpayers paid in salary and benefits to employees
during unnecessary delays in the disciplinary process. We concluded
that the department paid approximately $174,578 in salary and benefits
to employees during those delays.41 The total costs due to delays in
dismissal cases have decreased compared with the last period, but they
are still unnecessarily high. Over the past two years, the department has
paid approximately $1,015,185 in salary and benefits to employees during
the delays.
During this reporting period, the department served 23 dismissal actions
in 21 separate cases that were later upheld or in which the employee
resigned after service of the action. The department delayed in serving
17 of the 23 dismissal actions, or 74 percent. The delays occurred during
one of the following four critical steps in the disciplinary process:
•

The hiring authority’s referral of allegations of employee
misconduct to the Office of Internal Affairs within 45 days of
discovering the alleged misconduct.

•

The Office of Internal Affairs’ processing of employee
misconduct referrals from the hiring authority within 30 days of
receipt of the case.

•

The hiring authority’s administration of the investigative and
disciplinary findings conference within 14 days of receipt of
the case from the Office of Internal Affairs. In cases in which
the hiring authority made reasonable attempts to schedule the
conference within 14 days, the OIG did not negatively assess the
department if the conference was ultimately held within 30 days.

•

The department’s service of the disciplinary action on a
peace officer within 30 days of making the decision to
impose discipline.

41. In the report covering the January to June 2020 reporting period, the OIG also reported
upon delays in serving dismissal actions. Since the publication of the report in December
of 2020, the OIG discovered that one case was mistakenly included in the data set used to
conclude that there were $312,584 in payments to would-be dismissed employees during
delays and that this case should have been reported on in the next report regarding the
July through December 2020 reporting period. That case should have been and is now
included in the data and analysis for this report. The corrected total of costs due to delays
for the January through June 2020 reporting period is approximately $302,455.

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  53

Concerning the above-listed four critical steps, the OIG found the
following delays among the 23 instances in which the department served
a dismissal, and the dismissal was later upheld or the employee resigned:
•

The hiring authority delayed referring misconduct allegations
to the Office of Internal Affairs beyond the 45-day time frame
that policy required in seven cases, or 33 percent. The total
cumulative delay for this critical step was 132 days, and the
department paid approximately $39,605 to would-be dismissed
employees during the delays.

•

The Office of Internal Affairs delayed processing a referral
beyond the 30-day time frame policy required in one of the
21 cases. The total cumulative delay for this critical step was
14 days, and the department paid approximately $4,431 to
would‑be dismissed employees during the delays.

•

The hiring authority delayed investigative and disciplinary
conferences beyond the 14-day time frame policy required in
three cases, or 14 percent. The cumulative delay for this critical
step was 48 days, and the department paid approximately
$14,294 to would-be dismissed employees during the delays.

•

The department delayed serving 10 disciplinary actions on peace
officers beyond the 30-day time frame policy required in eight
of 19 peace officer cases, or 42 percent. The total cumulative
delay for this critical step was 350 days, and the department paid
approximately $116,247 to would-be dismissed employees during
the delays.42

The following are notable examples of cases with extensive delays:
•

In one case, an officer purchased and sold controlled substances,
two sergeants purchased controlled substances, and all three
employees lied during the investigation into the misconduct.
The hiring authority dismissed all three employees, but did not
serve the disciplinary actions on all three employees until many
days after policy required. In total, the department paid the
three employees approximately $18,963 during the delays, which
amounted to 51 days disbursed among the three employees. Two
of the employees resigned after service of the dismissals, and the
third later entered into a settlement wherein he agreed to resign.

•

In a second case, an officer failed to document force she
observed and then lied about the incident during an Office
of Internal Affairs’ interview. The hiring authority decided to
dismiss the officer. Prior to service, however, there were delays
in three critical steps: the hiring authority delayed 16 days after

42. Dollar amounts in our calculations for this report are approximations and subject
to rounding.

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54  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

policy required in referring the matter to the Office of Internal
Affairs, delayed 18 days after policy required in conducting the
investigative and disciplinary findings conference, and delayed
88 days after policy required in serving the dismissal action. In
all, the department paid the officer approximately $38,615 during
122 days of delay.
•

In a third case, an officer found a wallet in front of a bank and
kept it instead of returning it to the owner, failed to report to
the hiring authority that he had been booked into the county
jail, and lied during the administrative investigation into his
misconduct. The hiring authority dismissed the officer, and the
officer did not appeal. However, prior to service of the dismissal
action, there were delays in three critical steps: the hiring
authority delayed 16 days after policy required in referring the
matter to the Office of Internal Affairs, delayed 19 days after
policy required in conducting the investigative and disciplinary
findings conference, and delayed 49 days after policy required
in serving the dismissal action. In all, the department paid the
officer approximately $26,588 during the 84 days of delay.

In sum, the department’s unnecessary delays cost the department and
taxpayers approximately $174,578 in salary and benefits this reporting
period. Table 5 on the next page presents a detailed breakdown of the
costs associated with unnecessary delays in dismissal cases.

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  55

Table 5. Detailed Information Regarding Costs Associated With Unnecessary Delays in Dismissal Cases
Total Delays
Critical Steps in the Investigative and Disciplinary Process
OIG Case
Number

Classification

17-0023570-DM

Officer

18-0028046-DM
19-0029757-DM

Psych. Tech.

|

Monthly
Salary at
Mid-Step
($)

Daily
Rate
($)

6,110

200

4,873

160

Hiring
Hiring
OIA
Authority Authority
Processes Makes
Serves
Referral * Referral† Findings ‡ Action §

...

...

...

11
...

...

...

...

...

...

...

Sergeant

7,812

256

Officer

6,110

200

Sergeant

7,812

256

Sergeant

7,812

256

19-0030184-DM

Officer

6,110

200

19-0030335-DM

Officer

6,110

200

4

19-0031146-DM

Psych. Tech.

4,873

160

19-0031324-DM

Officer

6,110

200

36
...

19-0029826-DM

{

19-0031325-DM

Officer

6,110

200

19-0031457-DM

Counselor

6,691

219

18

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

2

19-0031803-DM

Officer

6,110

200

Officer

6,110

200

20-0032732-DM

Officer

6,110

200

16

20-0032888-DM

Officer

6,110

200

50

20-0033258-DM

Sergeant

7,812

256

8

...

88
...

6,014

23

5,891

3,417

9,307

...

...

...
...

132

14

12,140

23

...

...

2,583

4,456

...

...

38,615

826
2,208

...

...

14,175

1,757
7,683

9

9

2,305

1,337

3,642

48

9,616

5,577

15,193

4

801

465

1,266

36

5,752

2,703

8,455

5

1,002

581

1,583

14

2,805

1,627

4,431

2

439

254

693

...

...

24,440

11

3,806

...

...

122
30

...
14

Total
Cost ($)

19

...

...

Total
Benefits ($)

30

...
...

Total
Salary ($)

19

48
...

...

19-0032133-DM

Totals

...

16
...

Total
Days
Late

5

32

32

6,410

3,718

10,129

47

47

9,415

5,461

14,876

19
...

49
...

84

16,828

9,760

26,588

...

...

50

10,016

5,810

15,826

8

2,049

1,188

3,237

544

$111,015

$63,563

$174,578

48

350

* The hiring authority refers misconduct allegation to the Office of Internal Affairs.
† The Office of Internal Affairs processes the hiring authority’s referral.
‡ The hiring authority conducts the investigative and disciplinary findings conference.
§ The hiring authority serves disciplinary action on the employee.
|

Abbreviation for Psychiatric Technician.

Notes: The Office of Internal Affairs is abbreviated OIA. Amounts in the Total Salary, Total Benefits, and Total Cost columns are
approximations and subject to rounding.
Sources: The Office of the Inspector General Tracking and Reporting System and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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56  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

Special Agents From the Office of Internal Affairs
Significantly Delayed Commencing Investigations
During the July through December 2020 reporting period, we report
on our finding that Office of Internal Affairs’ special agents delayed
initiating investigations. The Department Operations Manual (DOM),
Article 22, and Office of Internal Affairs’ policy set forth strict time
lines for referring and initiating investigations.43 Under policy, the
hiring authority is required to refer allegations to the Office of Internal
Affairs’ Central Intake Unit within 45 calendar days of discovery. In
turn, the Central Intake Unit has 30 calendar days to determine whether
to investigate the allegations.44 If the Office of Internal Affairs opens
a case for investigation, the case is sent to one of three regions where
the misconduct occurred, or to the Special Investigations Unit, and
the regional Office of Internal Affairs’ manager has 10 calendar days
to assign the investigation to a special agent. Then, in cases in which a
department attorney is assigned, the department attorney has 21 calendar
days to reach out to the assigned special agent to discuss the elements of
a thorough investigation into the allegations of the alleged misconduct.45
The department has set forth clear time lines on referring allegations and
in sending the investigation to the regions, presumably understanding
the importance of investigating allegations in a timely manner. However,
the Office of Internal Affairs does not have a policy regarding a time line
for special agents to conduct the first interview in the investigation.
Theoretically, it is possible for the department to be in compliance
with policy when conducting the initial case conference, which occurs
approximately three and a half months after the discovery of allegations.
A hiring authority can refer a case 45 days after discovery, the Office of
Internal Affairs’ Central Intake Unit can take 30 days to process a case,
a supervisor can take 10 days to assign the case, and a special agent can
conduct the initial case conference 21 days after assignment. Adding even
more days to that process, agents do not normally begin interviewing
witnesses immediately after the initial case conference. In fact, the
OIG has observed a pattern of extreme delays taken by special agents in
conducting the first interview.

43. “In an effort to ensure acts of misconduct are addressed timely, cases should be referred
to OIA’s Central Intake Unit within 45 days from discovery of the misconduct. . . . If there
are CDCR Form 989 submissions that require longer than the 45-day time frame, Hiring
Authorities should contact the Chief, Headquarters Operations, OIA, as soon as possible to
discuss the time frame necessary prior to submission. OIA may grant additional time under
limited circumstances when warranted. This policy will be incorporated in the next revision
of the DOM, Article 14” (Office of Internal Affairs’ Memorandum Dated June 20, 2014).
44. “The CIU shall review each CDC Form 989 and all supporting documentation and shall
evaluate and make a determination regarding each matter within thirty 30 calendar days”
(DOM, Section 31140.16).
45. “As soon as operationally feasible, but no later than twenty-one (21) calendar days after
the assignment of a case, the Vertical Advocate shall contact the assigned investigator for
designated cases and the assigned SAIG, for cases the [OIG] is monitoring, to discuss the
elements of a thorough investigation of the alleged misconduct” (DOM, 33030.11).

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  57

During this reporting period, Office of Internal Affairs’ special agents
conducted interviews in 101 cases of the 138 cases the OIG monitored. Of
those cases, the special agent did not conduct an interview within 45 days
of his or her assignment to the case in 58 of 101 cases, or 57 percent of
cases. The issue was not specific to one region. Special agents in the
northern region did not complete the first interview within 45 days of
assignment for 28 of 44 cases, or 64 percent; special agents in the central
region did not complete the first interview within 45 days of assignment
in 18 of 29 cases, or 62 percent; and special agents in the southern region
did not complete the first interview within 45 days of assignment in
12 of 28 cases, or 43 percent. In those cases for which the special agent
conducted the interview more than 45 days after a special agent was
assigned to do so, the average number of days before the first interview
was 58 days beyond the initial 45-day period.
Furthermore, special agents delayed conducting the first interview
more than 45 days after assignment in 67 percent of cases in which the
department eventually dismissed the employee based on the allegations
being investigated, and the dismissal was upheld or not appealed.
The department should be conducting interviews with due diligence
in all cases, but even more so in cases that have serious allegations
that can result in a penalty of dismissal. However, the data from this
reporting period demonstrate that the Office of Internal Affairs delayed
conducting the first interview in would-be dismissal cases more often
than it did in all cases in general.
Below are some examples of investigations from this reporting period
during which the first interview was delayed.
In one case, an officer allegedly engaged in sexual acts with a minor. The
Office of Internal Affairs assigned a special agent on January 2, 2020,
to conduct the investigation. The special agent conferred with the
prosecuting attorney and received the “approval” confirmation from a
criminal prosecutor to proceed with the administrative investigation on
January 29, 2020. However, the special agent did not conduct the first
interview until July 28, 2020, approximately six months later. The hiring
authority decided to dismiss the officer on November 4, 2020, and served
the officer with a letter of intent advising the officer that he would be
dismissed. The officer retired before the hiring authority could serve him
with the disciplinary action. The officer worked in a nonpeace officer
position in the mail room for the entirety of the investigation. The officer
was paid to do clerical work while awaiting the Office of Internal Affairs
to investigate.
In another case, the Office of Internal Affairs opened an investigation
involving two officers and a psychiatric technician who were on duty
when an incarcerated person committed suicide. The Office of Internal
Affairs approved an investigation on December 5, 2018, and assigned a
special agent to the case on December 10, 2018. The special agent did

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58  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

not conduct the first interview until May 10, 2019, approximately five
months after receiving the assignment. After the initial interview, the
special agent did not continue conducting interviews until July 11, 2019,
62 days after the first interview. The special agent did not complete the
investigation and send the investigative report to the hiring authority
until September 27, 2019, 15 days before the deadline to take disciplinary
action against the officers. The hiring authority decided to suspend one
officer and reduce the salary of the other officer. The procrastination
of the special agent assigned to this case placed the hiring authority
in the difficult position of having to scramble and attempt to serve the
officers with disciplinary actions at the last minute. The hiring authority
dismissed the psychiatric technician, who then resigned before the
disciplinary action took effect.
In another case, the Office of Internal Affairs opened an administrative
investigation into allegations that an officer punched an incarcerated
person in the face and slammed him to the ground, and that four other
officers failed to report the incident. The Office of Internal Affairs
assigned a special agent to the case on October 24, 2019. The special
agent did not conduct the first interview until February 25, 2020, four
months later. The special agent did not complete his investigation
until July 15, 2020, almost nine months thereafter. The hiring authority
discovered the allegations on June 16, 2019, and the one-year disciplinary
deadline expired on June 16, 2020; however, due to the Governor’s
Executive Order, the disciplinary deadline was arguably extended by
60 days to August 15, 2020.46 If it had not been for the executive order
having been issued, the department would have missed the disciplinary
deadline. This case exemplifies how delays by special agents have
potentially significant consequences. The hiring authority did not sustain
the allegations.
In another case involving criminal allegations, two sergeants and two
officers allegedly kicked and punched a handcuffed incarcerated person.
The Office of Internal Affairs approved a criminal investigation on
December 4, 2019; however, the Office of Internal Affairs did not assign
a special agent until December 17, 2019, three days after departmental
policy required. The special agent did not complete any work on the case
the entire time that he was assigned, a period of approximately three
months. The Office of Internal Affairs assigned a second special agent
to the case on March 10, 2020; however, the second special agent did not
conduct the first interview in this investigation until July 14, 2020. This
was 124 days after being assigned the case and 210 days after the Office of
Internal Affairs assigned the first investigator. The second special agent
did not complete his investigation until December 4, 2020, 30 days after
the deadline to file misdemeanor charges. Ultimately, the investigation

46. “The deadline specified in Government Code section 3304 (d) for opening and
completing investigations of alleged misconduct by public safety officers is extended by
60 days” (Executive Order N-40-20 (15) ). The Governor of California issued this executive
order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  59

did not establish sufficient evidence for the Office of Internal Affairs to
refer the matter to a district attorney for prosecution.
In another case involving allegations that an officer failed to report
incarcerated persons fighting in a dormitory and then lied to a sergeant
about the incident, the Office of Internal Affairs assigned a special
agent to the investigation on May 13, 2019, but the special agent did not
conduct the first interview until September 16, 2019, more than four
months later. The special agent did not deliver the report to the hiring
authority until December 5, 2019, only 49 days before the deadline to
take disciplinary action. The hiring authority dismissed the officer, but
then settled the case and allowed the officer to return to work when
the department attorney discovered at the hearing that an incarcerated
person, a witness, had been paroled from custody and did not appear to
testify at the hearing.
In another case involving criminal allegations, a counselor allegedly
conspired to introduce heroin and mobile phones into a prison and
illegally communicated with incarcerated persons. The Office of
Internal Affairs assigned a special agent on July 25, 2019. During a case
conference with the OIG on July 30, 2019, the special agent discussed
stopping the counselor at the prison’s entry to search and interview
the counselor, but did not do so until December 4, 2019, more than four
months after receiving the assignment. The Office of Internal Affairs
later determined there was sufficient evidence to refer the case to the
local district attorney’s office for possible prosecution.
The above summaries highlight lengthy delays in cases involving serious
allegations and exemplify the consequences that occur when the Office
of Internal Affairs’ special agents delay the start of investigations. A
prompt investigation is necessary for a multitude of reasons: It reduces
the risk of evidence growing stale or disappearing altogether, it decreases
the potential for witnesses’ memories to fade with the passage of
time, and it permits the department to complete its investigation and
disciplinary action before disciplinary deadlines expire, including those
deadlines pursuant to the Public Safety Officers’ Procedural Bill of
Rights Act.47
There are important benefits to conducting the first interview as soon
as possible. In cases that include a complainant, interviewing the
complainant soon after the discovery of the allegations demonstrates to

47. “[N]o punitive action, or denial of promotion on grounds other than merit, shall be
undertaken for any act, omission, or other allegation of misconduct if the investigation
of the allegation is not completed within one year of the public agency’s discovery by a
person authorized to initiate an investigation of the allegation of an act, omission, or other
misconduct” California Government Code section 3304 (d) (1).
“No adverse action shall be valid against any State employees for any cause for discipline
based on any civil service law of this State, unless notice of this adverse action is served
within three years after the cause for discipline, upon which the notice is based, first arose”
Government Code section 19635 (a).

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60  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

the complainant that the department is treating the allegations seriously.
If special agents determine as soon as possible whether incarcerated
persons or parolees need to be interviewed, prompt interviews allow the
interviewer to gather information before a confirmed date of discharge
or before such witnesses are transferred to a prison far from the special
agent’s home office. The longer the Office of Internal Affairs waits to
conduct interviews, the more likely that witnesses’ memories will fade.
Moreover, extreme delays can put undue pressure on a hiring authority
to rush the disciplinary process to ensure that the hiring authority
disciplines the employee before the deadline to take disciplinary action
expires and precludes the hiring authority from acting altogether.
Finally, unnecessary delays during the investigative process can result
in would‑be dismissed employees who are facing serious allegations
receiving unwarranted pay during the delays.
Therefore, the OIG recommends the Office of Internal Affairs
implement a policy that requires the special agent to conduct the first
interview within 45 days for cases in which a special agent is assigned to
conduct an investigation or a subject interview, except for cases in which
the specific facts of the case warrant not immediately conducting an
interview and that the warranted delay is approved by a manager with the
Office of Internal Affairs.

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  61

The Department Unnecessarily Delayed
Resolving Direct Action Cases
For the July through December 2020 reporting period, the OIG
reviewed a cohort of employee discipline cases for the sole purpose
of determining whether the hiring authority held timely investigative
and disciplinary findings conferences. The OIG previously recommended
in our report from the January through June 2019 reporting period that
the department develop a time frame reflecting the number of days an
investigative and disciplinary findings conference must be held after a
hiring authority receives
1.

an investigative report from the Office of Internal Affairs;

2.

a report from the Office of Internal Affairs regarding its
interview of an employee suspected of misconduct; or

3.

a notice of approval from the Office of Internal Affairs to take
direct action on employee misconduct allegations without an
investigation or interview.

In our review of this cohort, we reviewed cases in which the hiring
authority submitted a referral with supporting documentation to
the Office of Internal Affairs, and after review, the Office of Internal
Affairs determined that the “misconduct [was] sufficiently welldocumented,”48 in the materials provided by the hiring authority and
therefore authorized the hiring authority to take direct disciplinary
action against the employee regarding the alleged misconduct without
an investigation or interview of the employee (or employees) suspected
of misconduct. For these cases especially, the hiring authority need not
delay making decisions concerning the alleged misconduct, since the
hiring authority already has all of the information necessary to make a
decision concerning each allegation of employee misconduct and does
not need to review any new material, as the Office of Internal Affairs
already determined that the hiring authority sufficiently documented
the misconduct.
After the Office of Internal Affairs returns a case to the hiring authority,
the hiring authority will make a decision concerning the alleged
misconduct at an investigative and disciplinary findings conference.
Under the OIG’s interpretation of the Department Operations Manual,
the hiring authority should conduct the conference within 14 days of
the Office of Internal Affairs’ decision to return the case to the hiring
authority.49 At the investigative and disciplinary findings conference, the
hiring authority will decide several matters including whether he

48. DOM, Section 31140.16.
49. DOM, Section 33030.13.

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62  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

or she agrees with the Office of Internal Affairs that the misconduct is
sufficiently well-documented, whether to sustain the alleged misconduct,
and if so, the appropriate corrective action or discipline.
If the hiring authority does not agree that the referral the hiring
authority provided to the Office of Internal Affairs contains sufficient
evidence of misconduct, and believes that he or she requires more
information in the form of interviews or further investigative work
before making a decision, the hiring authority may request that the
Office of Internal Affairs reconsider the hiring authority’s original
request for an investigation and may specify the information needed.
The matter then returns to the Office of Internal Affairs’ Central Intake
Unit, whereby the Office of Internal Affairs will again consider the
hiring authority’s request and “shall provide the Hiring Authority the
requested information or complete additional investigations as soon as
operationally possible.”50
The hiring authority must conduct the investigative and disciplinary
findings conference with sufficient time to return the matter to the
Office of Internal Affairs, because the hiring authority may need more
information in the form of further investigation or interviews to make a
decision concerning the alleged misconduct.
During the July through December 2020 reporting period, the Office
of Internal Affairs reviewed 1,063 referrals from hiring authorities
and determined that in 497 referrals, the hiring authority sufficiently
documented the misconduct such that no further interviews or
investigations were necessary for the hiring authority to make a
determination concerning the alleged misconduct. The Office of Internal
Affairs authorized the hiring authority in those 497 of 1,063 referrals to
take direct action on employee misconduct allegations without pursuing
a full investigation or an interview. We reviewed all 497 of the 1,063 cases
for the limited purpose of determining whether the hiring authority
conducted a timely investigative and disciplinary findings conference.
We did not monitor all of these cases and did not wait for them to be
closed for this limited review.
Of the 497 cases that the Office of Internal Affairs authorized the
hiring authority to take direct disciplinary action without the need for
an interview or investigation, the hiring authority did not conduct the
investigative and disciplinary findings conference within 14 days of the
Office of Internal Affairs’ decision in 433 of these cases, or 87 percent.
In 328 of 497 cases, or 66 percent, the hiring authority did not conduct
the investigative and disciplinary findings conference within 30 days of
the Office of Internal Affairs’ decision. And in 129 of the 497 cases, or
26 percent of the cases, hiring authorities took more than 90 days to

50. DOM, Section 33030.13.

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  63

conduct the investigative and disciplinary findings conference. Indeed,
in 31 cases, the department took more than 200 days to conduct the
investigative and disciplinary findings conference.
In one case, an officer allegedly assumed a post requiring quarterly
firearms qualification without being so qualified. The Office of Internal
Affairs returned the matter to the hiring authority to take disciplinary
action on July 1, 2020. As of April 8, 2021 (281 days later), the hiring
authority had not yet conducted the conference. The hiring authority
discovered the possible misconduct on May 29, 2020, and must serve
any possible disciplinary action on the officer within one year of the
discovery of the alleged misconduct. Should the hiring authority request
more information in the form of an interview or investigation from the
Office of Internal Affairs to make a decision concerning the alleged
misconduct, the Office of Internal Affairs would have very little time to
collect and provide that information.
In a second case, an officer allegedly told a sergeant that the officer
should not have to tell the sergeant how to do his job. The Office
of Internal Affairs returned the matter to the hiring authority on
July 15, 2020. The hiring authority did not conduct the investigative and
disciplinary findings conference until April 9, 2021, 268 days later.
In a third case, an officer allegedly failed to properly secure an
incarcerated person in a holding cell and then walked away. The
incarcerated person escaped from the holding cell and attacked two
other incarcerated persons who were being escorted by other officers,
thereby requiring several officers to use force. Further, the officer
allegedly did not complete an incident report before the end of his shift
nor conduct required security checks. The hiring authority discovered
the possible misconduct on June 25, 2020. The Office of Internal Affairs
returned the matter to the hiring authority to take direct disciplinary
action on August 12, 2020. As of April 8, 2021 (239 days later), the hiring
authority had not yet conducted the investigative and disciplinary
findings conference.
In a fourth case, outside law enforcement arrested an officer for driving
under the influence of alcohol on July 12, 2020. The officer also allegedly
lied to outside law enforcement when he denied drinking at all, failed
to report the arrest to the prison, called the arresting officer a “wet
back,” and called a citizen at the detention facility to which outside law
enforcement took him a “bitch.” The Office of Internal Affairs returned
the matter to the hiring authority to take direct disciplinary action on
August 19, 2020. The hiring authority did not complete the investigative
and disciplinary findings conference until February 5, 2021. At the
conference, 170 days after receiving the case for direct action, the hiring
authority decided to dismiss the officer.

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64  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

In a fifth case, an officer allegedly did not conduct a handheld scan
of an incarcerated person, resulting in the incarcerated person
possessing a makeshift weapon that he used to assault a second
officer. The Office of Internal Affairs returned the matter to the hiring
authority on July 29, 2020, but the hiring authority did not conduct the
investigative and disciplinary findings conference until 190 days later, on
February 4, 2021.
The examples above demonstrate that for cases in which the Office
of Internal Affairs decided the alleged misconduct was sufficiently
well-documented in the materials the hiring authority provided to the
Office of Internal Affairs, the department consistently delayed holding
the investigative and disciplinary findings conference. This delayed
any disciplinary action and shortened the time the hiring authority
may have had to request additional investigation should he or she have
decided the alleged misconduct was not sufficiently well-documented.
Therefore, the OIG recommends the department implement and enforce
a bright-line rule requiring hiring authorities to hold investigative and
disciplinary findings conferences within 14 days of receiving the case
from the Office of Internal Affairs, especially for those cases the Office
of Internal Affairs has authorized the hiring authority to take direct
disciplinary action.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  65

The OIG Added Value in Its Monitoring of Cases
From July Through December 2020
The OIG assigns attorneys to monitor the department’s internal
investigations and employee disciplinary process. OIG attorneys are
experienced in various fields of the law, including criminal prosecution,
civil rights litigation, administrative law, civil law, and appellate
litigation. Throughout our monitoring between July and December 2020,
we contemporaneously monitored the performances of hiring authorities,
Office of Internal Affairs’ special agents, and department attorneys.
During this reporting period, OIG attorneys positively impacted the
Office of Internal Affairs’ Central Intake Unit’s processing of hiring
authority referrals. Of the 138 cases the OIG monitored and closed
between July and December 2020, OIG attorneys made a positive impact
during the Central Intake process in 17 of the 138 cases, or 12 percent. We
highlight a few of those cases below.
In one case, six officers allegedly failed to conduct a search of a holding
cell, leaving an incarcerated person unattended. A seventh officer
and an eighth officer allegedly deviated from policy when conducting
standing counts. Initially, the Office of Internal Affairs declined to open
an administrative investigation and instead returned the case to the
hiring authority to take action without initiating an investigation or
interviewing the officers. The OIG elevated the matter to management
within the Office of Internal Affairs, and the manager decided to approve
an investigation. After an investigation, the hiring authority sustained
the allegations.
In a second case, outside law enforcement arrested an officer after he
allegedly engaged in various acts of sexual activity with minors. The
Office of Internal Affairs agreed to open an administrative investigation
only after the OIG recommended doing so. During the investigation,
the officer allegedly lied during an Office of Internal Affairs’ interview.
Thereafter, the hiring authority sustained the allegations and determined
dismissal was the appropriate penalty. The OIG concurred. However,
the officer retired before the disciplinary action could be served, and
the hiring authority placed a letter in the officer’s official personnel file,
indicating that he retired pending disciplinary action.
In a third case, an associate warden allegedly mimicked and spoke
mockingly in a Spanish-language accent to a second associate warden. A
third associate warden allegedly provided false or misleading information
to a chief deputy warden regarding the second associate warden, and also
retaliated against the second associate warden and an office technician
after the second associate warden and the office technician provided
witness statements against the third associate warden in an Office of
Internal Affairs’ investigation. Thereafter, the chief deputy warden
allegedly lied to the warden and allegedly sent inappropriate and sexually
suggestive email messages to the second associate warden. The chief

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66  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

deputy warden also allegedly made rude and demeaning statements to
the second associate warden. Initially, the Office of Internal Affairs
decided to not include the third associate warden as a subject. After the
OIG elevated the matter to management within the Office of Internal
Affairs, the Office of Internal Affairs agreed to include the third
associate warden as a subject of the administrative investigation. After
an investigation, the hiring authority sustained all allegations, except
that the third associate warden provided false information to the chief
deputy warden, and decided to impose a 25-working-day suspension
on the first associate warden. After the hiring authority served the
disciplinary action, the first associate warden and the hiring authority
entered into a settlement agreement pursuant to which the hiring
authority delayed commencement of the 25-working-day suspension
for ten days. The hiring authority decided to impose a 60-workingday suspension on the chief deputy warden. However, the chief deputy
warden retired before the hiring authority could serve the disciplinary
action. The hiring authority placed a letter in the chief deputy warden’s
official personnel file indicating the chief deputy warden resigned
pending disciplinary action. The hiring authority decided to demote the
third associate warden to a supervising counselor position, but prior to
implementation of the demotion, the hiring authority dismissed the third
associate warden in two unrelated cases. The OIG concurred.
In a fourth case, outside law enforcement arrested an officer after the
officer allegedly stole merchandise from a store. The officer also allegedly
lied to store security personnel concerning his name and date of birth.
The OIG recommended the Office of Internal Affairs add a dishonesty
allegation, which the Office of Internal Affairs adopted. The hiring
authority sustained the allegations and determined dismissal was the
appropriate penalty. The OIG concurred. However, the officer resigned
before the department completed its investigation. Therefore, the hiring
authority did not serve the officer with disciplinary action. The hiring
authority placed a letter in the officer’s official personnel file, indicating
he resigned pending disciplinary action.
In a fifth case, a lieutenant allegedly grabbed a handcuffed incarcerated
person by the back of the neck, pushed his face into a wall, placed his
knee on the incarcerated person’s back, and failed to report the use of
force. Initially, the Office of Internal Affairs decided to send the case
back to the hiring authority because it determined the hiring authority
already had sufficient information to take disciplinary action without
the need for further investigation or interviews. The OIG elevated that
decision to an executive with the Office of Internal Affairs, and as a
result, the Office of Internal Affairs also opened a criminal investigation.
After the Office of Internal Affairs completed the criminal investigation,
the hiring authority sustained the administrative allegations and
determined dismissal was the appropriate penalty. The OIG concurred.
However, the lieutenant retired before the disciplinary action could be
served. The hiring authority placed a letter in the lieutenant’s official
personnel file, indicating he retired pending disciplinary action.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  67

Recommendations
For the July through December 2020 reporting period, we offer the
following recommendations to the department:
Nº 1. The OIG recommends the department develop and implement a
policy requiring that special agents with the Office of Internal Affairs
conduct the first interview within 45 days of case assignment, except
for cases in which the specific facts of the case warrant not immediately
conducting an interview and that the warranted delay is approved by a
manager with the Office of Internal Affairs.
Nº 2. The OIG recommends the department implement and enforce a
bright-line rule requiring hiring authorities to hold investigative and
disciplinary findings conferences within 14 days of receiving
1.

an investigative report from the Office of Internal Affairs;

2.

a report from the Office of Internal Affairs regarding its
interview of an employee suspected of misconduct; or

3.

a notice of approval from the Office of Internal Affairs to take
direct action on employee misconduct allegations without an
investigation or interview;

especially for those cases that the Office of Internal Affairs has
determined the hiring authority already has sufficient information
to take disciplinary action without the need for further investigation
or interviews.

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  69

DocuSign Envelope ID: 7073BFF9-838E-4C75-B704-C217A5E36F8B
STATE OF CALIFORNIA — DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION

GAVIN NEWSOM, GOVERNOR

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY
P.O. Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 94283-0001

April 21, 2021
Mr. Roy Wesley
Office of the Inspector General
10111 Old Placerville Road, Suite 110
Sacramento, CA 95827
Dear Mr. Wesley:
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (Department) submits this letter in
response to the Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) draft Monitoring the Internal
Investigations and Employee Disciplinary Process of the California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation for the period of July through December 2020.
The Department has reviewed the draft report and would like to note the below, particularly in
relation to the two indicators where the OIG’s draft report rated the Department’s performance
as “poor”:
INDICATOR 4: THE PERFORMANCE BY HIRING AUTHORITIES IN DETERMINING FINDINGS
REGARDING ALLEGED MISCONDUCT AND PROCESSING THE MISCONDUCT CASES
Page 46:
“Although the department does not have a clear policy governing when hiring authorities are
required to conduct the investigative findings conference, we assessed hiring authorities based
on a 14-day time frame pursuant to our interpretation of the Department Operations Manual.”
The Department disagrees with OIG’s interpretation of the language in the DOM and created a
requirement and subsequent deadline that is not determined in policy. Article 22 does not
contain an express requirement that the conference be held within 14 days. Rather, section
33030.13 provides that the Hiring Authority shall review the investigative report and
documentation no later than 14 calendar days after receipt of the report. It thereafter requires
that the Hiring Authority consult with the Vertical Advocate and OIG when reviewing the
investigation and making investigative findings. Section 33030.13.1 (governing investigative
findings) does not provide a deadline by which the Hiring Authority is to make those findings.
Article 22 provides that the investigative findings would be completed after the Hiring Authority
has an opportunity to review the report, thus the consultation with the Vertical Advocate and
OIG would occur as part of that whole process (not just the initial review process in the first 14
days).

1

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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70  |  Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

DocuSign Envelope ID: 7073BFF9-838E-4C75-B704-C217A5E36F8B

Roy Wesley, Office of the Inspector General
Page 2

2

Page 47:
“Delayed conferences often resulted in untimely service of disciplinary actions.”
The Department believes this statement is misleading, as it could be construed that the delayed
conferences are making disciplinary actions untimely as a matter of law – i.e., that the
Department missed the statute of limitation, which is inaccurate. As written, it appears the OIG
is holding the department accountable for a timeliness standard that does not exist.
Page 51:
Section re: “For cases the OIG monitored and closed from July through December 2020, the OIG
determined that the department proposed an unreasonable course of action, and the OIG
subsequently sought review by departmental executives in one case.”
The OIG’s elevation of this case occurred in the prior review period. The final decisions by the
Undersecretary were made in January and February of 2020, and the modification of the penalty
by the Undersecretary occurred in April of 2020. With regard to the penalty modification, it is
important to note that the Department had a concern about leaving institutional employees –
who would be coming back to the institution – without health insurance during a pandemic.
Further, the Department’s decision was within policy.

3

The sole event that occurred during this review period was the settlement of the discipline while
the appeals were pending before the State Personnel Board in early July 2020. The Department
elected to settle the matter because every use of force subject matter expert that the attorney
could locate opined that the force used was consistent with how the officers had been trained.
As such, the Department believed there was significant risk that the State Personnel Board could
revoke the discipline in its entirety. The Department’s decision to settle the matter, in light of
the information learned from the subject matter experts, was prudent and within policy.
The Department previously substantively responded to OIG’s criticisms in this matter, however,
it is important to note that the use-of-force incident was reviewed by at least five Department
executives and four Department attorneys, as well as the OIG’s attorneys, and many had different
opinions of the use of force incident and the sufficiency of the evidence that the officers had
been dishonest. The fact that reasonable minds can differ as to the propriety of the force and
sufficiency of evidence demonstrates the fundamental problems with the evidence in this matter.
INDICATOR 5: PERFORMANCE BY DEPARTMENT ATTORNEYS IN PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE WHILE
THE OFFICE OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS PROCESSED EMPLOYEE MISCONDUCT HIRING AUTHORITY
REFERRALS AND CONDUCTED INTERNAL INVESTIGATIONS

4

Page 54:
“The department assigned attorneys to some of the cases in which the Office of Internal Affairs
conducted administrative investigations, but it did not assign them to criminal investigations.”

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  71

DocuSign Envelope ID: 7073BFF9-838E-4C75-B704-C217A5E36F8B

Roy Wesley, Office of the Inspector General
Page 3
The OIG’s statement that the Department “did not assign [attorneys] to criminal investigations”
mischaracterizes the role of the department’s attorneys and results in an apparent improper
criticism. The Department’s attorneys are to provide legal advice during administrative
investigations and disciplinary matters. The scope of the role for the Department’s attorneys is
set forth in Article 22 of DOM. The Department’s policies, that were created and adopted
pursuant to the Madrid Court’s orders, contemplate that the Department’s attorneys would
provide advice in disciplinary matters, not legal advice to the Department regarding
investigations that are focused on criminal prosecution, which are ultimately referred to the
District Attorneys’ offices. When a criminal investigation uncovers evidence of conduct that
would support discipline, the disciplinary matter is split from the criminal matter, at which time
the Department’s attorney provides advice regarding any necessary further investigative work to
support the administrative action.

4

INDICATOR 6: THE PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT ATTORNEYS AND EMPLOYEE RELATIONS
OFFICERS IN PROVIDING LEGAL REPRESENTATION DURING LITIGATION
Page 56-57:
“In one case, the department attorney did not provide the OIG with a draft of a disciplinary action
or consult with the OIG before serving an amended disciplinary action on an officer.”
The Department does not believe that this criticism falls within the OIG’s indicator, thus is not a
proper basis for a poor rating. The OIG’s indicator relates to the employee’s (either attorney or
ERO) providing legal representation. The representation is provided to the Department. As such,
the representative’s communication with OIG does not relate to his/her/their representation of
the Department in discipline against an employee and before the State Personnel Board.
“In a third case, the department attorney failed to draft the disciplinary action at all and instead,
waited for the officer to retire. The employee retired 82 days after the decision to take disciplinary
action and 52 days after policy required the disciplinary action to be served.”
Because of the vagueness of the above-statement, the Department assumes that it refers to a
matter arising out of the Central region. The Department disputes the characterization of the
events in this matter; specifically characterizing the attorney’s conduct as a neglect of their
obligations under the policies. The attorney timely prepared and delivered the draft Notice of
Adverse Action to the Hiring Authority. The Hiring Authority believed that the employee
presented a credible threat of violence against the Hiring Authority and all the witnesses who
provided statements against the employee. If discipline was served, the employee would have
the identity of all witnesses who provided statements against him. The Hiring Authority was
deeply concerned for the safety and security of the Department’s employees, and knew that the
subject employee would be retiring. Even without serving the Notice of Adverse Action, the
findings and discipline to be imposed would remain in the Department’s records. Thus, the Hiring
Authority made the decision to put the safety of the Department’s employees first. The

5

6

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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72  |  Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

DocuSign Envelope ID: 7073BFF9-838E-4C75-B704-C217A5E36F8B

Roy Wesley, Office of the Inspector General
Page 4
representative from the OIG unofficially agreed that the Hiring Authority’s decision was the most
prudent course of action.

7

Page 58:
Section re: “The Department Delayed in Processing Dismissal Cases, Resulting in the Payment of
Approximately $174,578 to Ultimately Dismissed Employees During the Delays.”
It is unclear from OIG’s report whether all of the employees for whom these costs were calculated
were on Administrative Time Off. If the employees were not on ATO during the period between
when the decision was made and when the discipline was served, there is no loss to the
Department. If the employee was working, the Department received services from the
employee. If OIG’s report includes individuals who were not on ATO, those individuals should be
removed from the calculation.

8

Page 68-69:
“Under the OIG’s interpretation of the Department Operations Manual, the hiring authority
should conduct the conference within 14 days of the Office of Internal Affairs’ decision to return
the case to the hiring authority.”
As stated above in response to Indicator 4, the Department disagrees with OIG’s interpretation
of the language in the DOM and believes there is no set timeframe for conducting the disciplinary
conference after the hiring authority receives the case from the Office of Internal Affairs.
Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on the draft report. If you have further
questions, please contact me at (916) 323-6001.
Sincerely,

KATHLEEN ALLISON
Secretary

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  73

The Office of the Inspector General’s
Comments Concerning the Response
Received From the Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation
To provide clarity and perspective, we comment on the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (the department)
response to the OIG’s draft report titled Monitoring the Internal
Investigations and Employee Disciplinary Process of the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The numbers below
correspond with the numbers we have placed in the margin of the
department’s response.*
1.

The OIG stands by its interpretation of the department’s policy
regarding the requirement that the hiring authority conduct the
investigative and disciplinary findings conference within 14 days
of receiving the investigative report. DOM, Section 33030.13,
states, “As soon as operationally possible, but no more than
fourteen (14) calendar days following receipt of the final
investigative report, the Hiring Authority shall review the
investigative report and supporting documentation. The
Hiring Authority shall consult with the Vertical Advocate, for
all designated cases, and the SAIG, for all cases monitored
by the BIR when reviewing the investigation and making
investigative findings.”
A reasonable interpretation of the language of this section
requires the hiring authority to not only review the final
investigative report and supporting documents, and consult
with the department attorney and the OIG “when reviewing the
investigation . . .” as spelled out in the policy explicitly, but also
to complete his or her findings based on the investigation
within 14 days of receipt of the investigative report. Although
this last clause is not stated directly, it is reasonable to infer it.
Otherwise, setting a time frame for review that does not include
a determination of findings is pointless. The OIG has previously
recommended the department amend the time frame set forth
in this section if it believes that 14 days is an inadequate period
to review the materials, to consult, and to make a determination
of findings. However, the department has ignored this
recommendation and has continued to unreasonably assert that
DOM, Section 33030.13, does not require its hiring authorities

* Page numbers referenced in the department’s response have changed in the final version
of this report due to reformatting.

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74  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

make investigative findings within 14 days of receiving the
investigative report. Nevertheless, we will continue to apply our
reasonable interpretation that the hiring authority must review
the materials, consult with department attorneys and the OIG,
and make findings within 14 days of receipt of the investigation.
2.

The department argued that the OIG is “holding the department
accountable for a timeliness standard that does not exist.” As
explained on page 48 of the report, pursuant to policy, the
department must serve disciplinary actions on officers within
30 days of the hiring authority’s decision to take disciplinary
action. DOM, Section 33030.22, requires that department
attorneys “shall ensure” when drafting a disciplinary action,
that “[i]f the subject employee is a peace officer, he or she is
being served with the Notice of Adverse Action within thirty
(30) calendar days of the decision to take disciplinary action.”
Accordingly, the OIG is holding the department accountable
to the department’s own timeliness standard. The department’s
unfounded fear that the public will interpret this criticism
as the department not serving disciplinary actions prior to
the expiration of the statute of limitations is baseless. The
department is held to a timeliness standard under its own policy
as well as the law. This section of the OIG report highlights
cases in which the department violated its own policy.

3.

As the OIG explained throughout its semiannual report, the
OIG reports on cases closed during the applicable reporting
period. A case is not closed until the conclusion of all appeals.
As the department pointed out, the department settled the
matter during this reporting period “while the appeals were
pending before the State Personnel Board,” meaning the OIG
appropriately reported on this case during the July through
December 2020 reporting period, when the case finally
resolved. The OIG also included this case in OIG Sentinel
Case No. 20–04, The Department Made an Egregious Error in
Judgment and Relied on Poor Legal Advice When It Did Not Sustain
Dishonesty Allegations and Dismiss Two Officers in a Use-ofForce Case.

4.

The OIG acknowledges that the department does not assign
attorneys to criminal investigations and, accordingly, does not
evaluate the department negatively as such.

5.

Policy requires department attorneys to provide a copy of
draft notices of disciplinary actions to the OIG under DOM,
Section 33030.22, so the OIG can provide consultation
concerning the draft document. Moreover, the department must

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Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020   |  75

consult with the OIG before determining the imposition of, or
amendment to, a penalty (DOM, Sections 33030.20–33030.25).
The department attorney provided poor legal advice to the
department when the department attorney excluded the OIG
from the process, not only violating departmental policy, but also
preventing the OIG from carrying out its mandate under Penal
Code section 6126 to monitor the disciplinary process.
6.

Without asking the OIG for the case number, the department
incorrectly assumed that a third case exemplifying a department
attorney’s poor performance for failure to draft and serve the
disciplinary action prior to the employee’s retirement involved
a case out of the central region. It did not. For this example, the
OIG found no justification for the department attorney’s poor
performance. Unrelated to the department’s response, the OIG
has corrected the rank of the employee involved in this case from
officer to associate warden.

7.

In this report, we criticized the department because it delayed
serving dismissal actions on employees and unnecessarily paid
the employees during the delays. This is the fifth consecutive
report in which the OIG identified significant delays in serving
dismissal actions. The thrust of the department’s response to
this criticism seems to be that some of these would-be dismissed
employees provided “services” to the department during its
delays and that payments of State funds to these would-be
dismissed employees during that time period should not be
included in the totals cited.
The department seems unconcerned with a would-be dismissed
employee continuing to be paid during delays as long as the
employee is working a regular post as opposed to being placed
on administrative time off. The department is ignoring the
obvious point that employees who it deems to have committed
serious enough misconduct warranting dismissal from
State service are continuing to work during delays, thereby
unnecessarily exposing the department to further liability should
they commit further misconduct on the job. Furthermore, these
employees should not be rewarded with taxpayers’ dollars any
longer than necessary, regardless of whether they are working a
regular post or on administrative time off.
In our report covering the July to December 2018 reporting
period, we recommended that the department reassess its
internal review process so that it can detect and prevent delays
in processing disciplinary actions. In our report covering the
January to June 2019 reporting period, we recommended the
department implement a policy requiring that department

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76  | Monitoring Internal Investigations and the Employee Disciplinary Process, July – December 2020

attorneys and employee relations officers provide all disciplinary
actions to the hiring authority within a specific number of days
after the investigative and disciplinary findings conference. We
renewed this recommendation in our next Discipline Monitoring
Report. The department has chosen to not implement these
recommendations, even while it continues to poorly process
dismissal actions. Our reporting in the last five reports has
demonstrated that the department has continued to fail to
exercise due diligence in serving dismissal actions. These failures
along with the department’s recent response to this report
establish that the department does not have sufficient concern
regarding the timely service of dismissal actions.
8.

DOM, Section 33030.13, states, “As soon as operationally
possible, but no more than fourteen (14) calendar days
following receipt of the final investigative report, the Hiring
Authority shall review the investigative report and supporting
documentation. The Hiring Authority shall consult with the
Vertical Advocate, for all designated cases, and the SAIG, for all
cases monitored by the BIR when reviewing the investigation
and making investigative findings.” Rather than addressing its
extreme delays in conducting investigative and disciplinary
findings conferences, the department instead chooses to assert
that its policy does not specify a time frame in which the
disciplinary findings conference should be held. The OIG stands
by its interpretation based on a plain reading of this DOM
section which specifies that the hiring authority must review
the report within 14 days, and must consult with the OIG and
the department attorney “when reviewing” the investigation
and making investigative findings. However, the department’s
response that “there is no set timeframe for conducting the
disciplinary conference after the hiring authority receives the
case from the Office of Internal Affairs” provides further support
for the OIG’s recommendation that the department implement
and enforce a bright-line rule which clearly articulates that
hiring authorities must hold investigative and disciplinary
findings conferences within 14 days.

Office of the Inspector General, State of California

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Monitoring
Internal Investigations and
the Employee Disciplinary Process of
the California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation
Semiannual Report
July – December 2020

OFFICE of the INSPECTOR GENERAL
Roy W. Wesley
Inspector General
Bryan B. Beyer
Chief Deputy Inspector General

STATE of CALIFORNIA
May 2021

OIG

 

 

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