Reporting Ron Jones
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A state worker walked out of jail one day after he and another state employee were arrested on allegations of taking bribes.
Caltrans worker Danny Compson is free following his arrest Tuesday while California Department of Fish and Wildlife employee Stephanie Clark sits behind bars. Both are facing fraud and corruption charges.
“In the end, we are stewards of taxpayers’ dollars,” said Richard Stapler, Natural Resources Agency.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife admitted to CBS13 Wednesday that for years there has been poor oversight over taxpayers’ money, and it’s been going on for at least five years.
“We want to be able to maintain people’s trust,” said Stapler.
It came to light Tuesday when Clark and Compson were arrested for fraud and corruption.
“We’re very lucky we had a whistle blower come forward to ensure these people are prosecuted,” said Stapler.
According to the California Attorney General’s office, both employees conspired with Southern California office supply company Veteran Toners. The two worked with the company’s owner to allegedly rig bids so Veteran Toners would get the contract.
State investigators say the services and items were overpriced or never provided. Money was then allegedly returned back to Clark and Compson in the form of gift cards and expensive trips.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife says they’ve learned their lesson. Employees are no longer allowed to buy from just one vendor but must rotate through several for products or services. There is also more oversight from an outside third party procurement manager to verify transactions and confirm delivery.
“So what we want to make sure is that not one single person who has complete control over the procurement process from start to finish,” said Stapler.
The process for the department begins immediately.