SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Whistleblower tips alerted California’s auditor to $370,000 in waste and forgery at certain state agencies, according to a report released Thursday.

Auditor Elaine Howle’s office said investigators scrutinized state psychiatric hospitals and other agencies based on anonymous information from employees. The audits were concluded in the last six months of 2015.

One audit found that four psychiatrists at Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino regularly lied about working less than the 40 hours per week required in their collective bargaining agreement. The report said their undue pay cost the state about $300,000.

Patton officials said they’ll train employees on attendance expectations by April and are working to update the collective bargaining agreement.

The auditor’s office said in the report that the hospital’s effort appears to be insufficient to curb the attendance problem.

Another audit found that an unnamed psychiatrist at a state hospital failed to disclose a nearly $30,000 payment from a pharmaceutical company while acting as the facility’s medical director in 2013 and 2014. Filing officials failed to prevent the error, the report said.

The Department of State Hospitals did not immediately comment Thursday on the undisclosed check.

The whistleblowers led the auditor’s office to other, lower-cost mismanagement of money in the departments of Developmental Services, Correctional Health Care, Public Health, Water Resources, Industrial Relations, General Services and Fish and Wildlife.

The California Whistleblower Protection Act shields the identities of people who provide information and individuals involved in the claims.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.


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