Date:April 7, 8, 9 and 18, May 3, 8 and 13, June 13, 2013
We exposed how the Santa Clara County District Attorney, Jeff Rosen, circumvented the county's time-off policy, giving thousands of hours of extra vacation to his appointees-“lead attorneys,” some of the highest paid employees in the county- as a secret perk. We uncovered that this "gift of time" was to make up for a bonus these lead attorneys lost during budget negotiations. Our investigation revealed DA Rosen directed staff to alter their time sheets: vacation and sick time were changed to "administrative leave," thus allowing select attorneys to bank their time and cash out later. Our report raised questions from unions across the county whose contracts with the county all contained a clause stating: if one union did not take their contractual cuts, no one had to do so. Consequently, the DA's move to undercut the contract put millions of dollars at risk. Several unions filed complaints with the county in response to our story asking for comparable payment. Our reporting prompted the Attorney General to open a civil investigation into the DA's office. The county executive ordered the time off be paid back by attorneys, and imposed an annual cap on the number of administrative leave hours that can be given to attorneys to prevent this from happening again.