California prison employee spent work time watching 2,256 YouTube videos

An employee at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, Calif. spent time on the clock watching thousands of YouTube videos, a report by the State Auditor's Office found this week. Photo: California Department Of Correct

Photo: California Department Of Correct

An employee at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, Calif. spent time on the clock watching thousands of YouTube videos, a report by the State Auditor’s Office found this week.

Your tax dollars at work: A report from the California State Auditor’s office released Tuesday highlights a variety of California state employees behaving badly, from using state vehicles for personal transportation to getting the government to pay for things it’s not supposed to.

In one colorful instance highlighted in the findings, an employee at a prison in the Central Valley spent thousands of dollars worth of time on the clock watching thousands of YouTube videos that were completely unrelated to his job.

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The initial allegation against the unnamed administrator at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla (Madera County) claimed he watched YouTube videos “every day, all day long, five days per week.”

The man had allegedly been watching thousands of videos on state time “for many years.”

In a 10-month period reviewed by the auditor’s office, he accessed 2,256 YouTube videos. On one “particularly egregious” day alone, he watched 55 YouTube videos.

The videos mostly consisted of footage of recreational vehicles, crime footage, and political and religious commentary.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation blocks YouTube on most employee computers, but the administrator was able to access it because his work duties occasionally required him to go to some of the typically blocked sites.

The man’s supervisor was not shocked when she learned of his online activity: It was not hard to square with his work quality, which was, she said, “poor.”

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The man “often revealed a surprising lack of knowledge when she asked him simple questions,” and the supervisor “could not remember a week when he had worked the expected 40 hours,” the auditor’s office wrote.

While the investigation by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation found that the man was, in fact, effectively being paid to watch thousands of YouTube videos for no discernible reason, justice was ultimately not served. Before he could be disciplined, he retired.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/California-spending-waste-valley-state-prison-13827347.php.

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