City Audit Recommendations Ignored for the Most Part

In 2012, a city audit found that San Jose police working off-duty security jobs lacked accountability and, in some cases, abused the system. One officer allegedly double-billed two school districts, according to the report by City Auditor Sharon Erickson, who handed down a list of recommendations to get the program back in line.

Three years after Erickson called for "urgent reform and a cultural change," more than 80 percent of those recommendations have yet to be implemented.

Recent press reports about officers working off-duty security details getting a little too cozy with some of their clients—namely the San Francisco 49ers—shows the importance of gaining control of the program, Erickson stressed in a progress report going before the City Council today.

Erickson's semi-annual status report lists a wide range of programs that have yet to follow through on her direction. By the end of last year, the city had 335 open audit recommendations.

She pointed to "significant opportunities" to civilianize more positions in the SJPD, as noted in a 2010 audit. "Diminished sworn staffing makes this all the more important," she wrote.

A 2012 audit of Environmental Services found that $1.1 million of public art allocations were misallocated. She asked the city to update its public art ordinance to nix the public art requirement for certain ratepayer-funded sewage or utilities projects.

A 2009 audit of pension earnings unearthed several potential miscalculations, which have yet to be corrected.

Twenty audits pointed to opportunities for the city to save up to $42 million. Eleven of them dealt with meet-and-confer issues.

Click here to read the entire report.

More from the San Jose City Council agenda for March 17, 2015:

  • A new report shows that San Jose met only a fifth of its affordable housing goal in 2014, building a little more than 500 low-income units. The city says it struggles to keep up with its target because it lost important tools. Redevelopment Agencies, which drummed up money for below-market-rate units, shut down at Gov Jerry Brown's behest. San Jose's inclusionary housing fee, which required developers to chip in for affordable units, is being challenged in court.
  • The city is being paid $30,000 to manage a public art project called Operation Paydirt that raises awareness about lead poisoning in children.
  • San Jose's former head of the Housing Department, Leslye Corsiglia, is asking for an exemption from the city's revolving door policy. The policy is meant to ensure impartiality by city staff and prevent former employees from using their connections at City Hall for personal gain. Corsiglia, who retired from her city post in January, is working on a short-term contract researching county-wide homelessness for the nonprofit Health Trust. City Attorney Richard Doyle says it would make sense to approve her request because the project she's working on would benefit the city by advancing regional solutions to homelessness.
  • The annual Great American Litter Pick-Up takes place April 25.

WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm today
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. This is another example of the lazy “reporting” which is typical of SJI. “Recent press reports” are cited in support of the claim that there is some significant problem with SJPD secondary employment. The reports cited are SJI stories regarding free 49er tickets used by Chiefs, which had nothing to do with the hundreds of officers who work secondary employment jobs, and the working association a few officers had with the team. This issue arose as a result of the Ray McDonald case. To review, McDonald was arrested by SJPD, who then conducted a far more thorough investigation than would have occurred if he had not been a person with public notoriety, At the conclusion of the investigation, the DA’s office declined to file any charges due to a lack of evidence. There was no evidence of any misconduct by any SJPD officer with regard to the McDonald case, and an extensive investigation was conducted with regard to that question as well.

    Further, there is no specific discussion of the recommendations which haven’t been enacted and the reasons why. An actual reading of the report reveals that a lack of staffing is a major impediment. This story also seems to assume that every recommendation should be implemented. The title of “City Auditor” doesn’t confer upon the office holder limitless knowledge about the intricacies of running each city department. Just because a recommendation is made doesn’t mean that it’s actually a good idea.

    Finally, there is no reason to assume the recommendations were made without bias or weren’t influenced by the political process. The audit report includes recommendations in support of Measure B. How is that working out? Maybe someone should audit the auditor?

  2. I just love how SJI loves to attack public safety, but then you are attached at the hip with the Merky News and Sam. How about we dump Measure B and give back their regular pay before the 10% pay cut and added pension dues so they do not have to work pay jobs to support their families.

    Sam knows SJ could not function without officers willing to work off duty pay jobs. I would encourge officers to take a blue flu of all pay jobs for one month and see what happens, especially at all the downtown bars. Remember 90% of city workers cannot afford to live in San Jose. I love how you like to get a rise out of your bias reporting.

    • Didn’t the murky try to toss out Metro’s newstands a few years back? Didn’t Pulcrano go dumpster diving, and raged/ranted 2 or 3 pages of venom towards them?

      They’re much less simpatico than you suggest. Maybe they get the same scoops, or share some opinions, but you’ll never see Herhold and Pulcrano having a beer together.

  3. Can’t do the big things if you don’t fix the small things….p.s. you forgot to mention Code Enforcement!

  4. Newsflash to Wadsworth….many many positions in the police department HAVE been civilized starting way before the auditor said anything. Have you heard about the 30 Community Service Officers that were hired?? Do your research before you put out as fact that which is incorrect.

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