State Auditor Elaine Howle
State auditors say California corrections officials overstated how many jobs they saved using more than $1 billion in federal stimulus money.
In its report to the federal government last month, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reported saving more than 18,000 correctional officer jobs since May. The report said the federal stimulus money paid their salaries as the state struggled with its massive budget deficit.
But State Auditor Elaine Howle questioned that total in an audit released Monday. She says the corrections department issued 5,000 preliminary layoff notices, less than a third of the jobs it claims to have saved. The remaining 13,000 jobs never appeared to be in jeopardy.
Corrections officials say they simply calculated how many guards' salaries could be paid with the billion dollars.