Whistleblowers led California auditors to discover misconduct by several state employees during the last year, including misuse of money for limousine trips and inaccurate time reporting that cost taxpayers thousands of dollars, according to a report released Thursday.
State Auditor Elaine Howle’s twice-yearly report of employee misconduct comes after her office investigated 50 cases that raised concerns.
“State agencies must report to my office any corrective or disciplinary action taken in response to recommendations we make,” Howle wrote to Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature.
There are many paths to the presidency, most of them a standard climb from one elected office to the next.
A whole passel of lawmakers have cycled their way through a governorship or the U.S. Senate en route to the White House. Others arrived with less buttoned-down backgrounds. There have been war heroes, a former haberdasher, a onetime movie actor.
And then, of course, there is the current occupant whose resume — real estate developer, beauty pageant promoter, conspiracy monger, reality TV celebrity — makes up a category all its own.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a bill that allows judges to decide against imposing prison sentencing enhancements of 10 or more years in cases where firearms are used in committing a felony.
State Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) introduced the measure, saying public safety is not served by the current mandate for enhancements, which come in the form of an additional sentence of 10 years, 20 years or life in prison.
“Far too many people of color are disproportionately impacted by our state’s overly punitive sentencing laws, which tie the hands of our judges,” Bradford said after the signing. “We must provide judges with the same level of discretion at sentencing as we afford prosecutors when filing charges.”
Tom Steyer, a San Francisco environmentalist and a major political donor, is calling on all Democrats to support the impeachment of President Trump.
In a Tuesday letter to campaign committees and every Democratic member of Congress, Steyer said the president is “not fit for office” and is “engaged in a systematic attack on the future of our children.”
“The public deserves to know where every Democrat stands on the issue of the highest import to the lives of every single American now, before those elections happen,” Steyer wrote. “I am asking you today to make public your position on the impeachment of Donald Trump and call for his removal from office.”
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday put the brakes on an effort to further regulate the burgeoning meal subscription business, in which firms deliver to customers original recipes and proportioned ingredients needed to prepare food at home.
Brown vetoed a bill that would have required those subscription services to get food handler cards for employees handling unpackaged ingredients. It was sponsored by the California Grocers Assn. and United Food and Commercial Workers State Council, competitors of the new businesses.
Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) introduced the measure, citing public health concerns.
Violent incidents videotaped or streamed live on sites such as Facebook by attackers or accomplices could result in tougher punishment in California under a law signed Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Assembly Bill 1542 provides that a judge will be able to consider additional penalties for anyone involved in a violent crime who “willfully recorded a video” while the attack was happening. But the new law doesn’t require a judge to hand down the tougher sentence, and applies only to the 23 existing crimes in California identified as “violent” felonies.
Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Woodland Hills), the proposal’s author, said that there have been an increasing number of attacks motivated by the ability to instantly share footage on social media.
The Times' Sarah D. Wire wrote in June about how Nunes' statements on handing over leadership of the House investigation were interpreted as a full recusal by Democrats. But Nunes has since made it clear that's not what he intended, and that he won't be shy about staying involved in certain aspects of the investigation.
A day after announcing she would seek a sixth term in office, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said at a Tuesday fundraiser that she had considered retiring but decided that she just couldn’t because of President Trump.
"Let me be very candid with you. I thought about not doing this," Feinstein said at the evening gathering of some of Los Angeles' top civic leaders and philanthropists. "I thought, well, maybe I've been there long enough. Maybe I should just walk away. I could actually have a pretty good life, and I’ve worked all my life. Maybe it's time."
But the 84-year-old Democrat – first elected in 1992 and one of the wealthiest members of Congress -- said the actions of Trump, from his statements about North Korea and Iran to his controversial tweets, persuaded her to seek another term because she believes her relationships and knowledge of the inner workings of the nation's capital are critical for Democrats as they try to negotiate this president's tenure.
A group of voters filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging they were defrauded when they were convinced to sign petitions to recall Democratic state Sen. Josh Newman of Fullerton based on claims that the petitions would repeal an increase in the state gas tax.
The latest of a handful of lawsuits involving the recall drive was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against the California Republican Party, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. and some of the petition circulators.
Republicans collected more than 66,000 valid signatures to seek a ballot measure that would recall Newman for voting in April with the Democratic majority in favor of increasing the state gas taxes and vehicle fees. Having won election by one of the slimmest margins of any Democratic senator, Newman was seen as vulnerable for recall, which would deprive the Democrats of their two-thirds supermajority in the state Senate.
The Northern California wildfires this week have destroyed at least seven marijuana farms just months before the state begins licensing legal sales of cannabis, making it the “worst year on record” for loss of crops, an industry leader said Tuesday.
Many growers lost their homes and farms in the Redwood Complex fire in Mendocino County, the Atlas fire in Napa County and the Stubbs and Nuns fires in Sonoma County, according to Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Assn.
“The October 2017 firestorm is having an extremely severe impact on our communities,” Allen said. “It is the worst year on record, and the worst year I can remember, in terms of farms lost. We have been able to confirm seven farms lost, but we expect the number to be much higher as more information comes in.”