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Woodbridge Sanitary District responds to grand jury report

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Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:01 am, Wed Sep 28, 2011.

The Woodbridge Sanitary District has filed a response with San Joaquin County Superior Court regarding a laundry list of allegations the grand jury reported in June.

The district’s response, signed by board President Doug Colucci, says that the board and staff have addressed some of the allegations and continue to work on others.

Among the responses:

  • The district operated properly in issuing a $1,260 check to an employee for 36 hours the grand jury maintains he did not work. The district maintains the employee worked those hours installing two pumps at the headworks of the sewer plant off Benedict Drive.
  • The district banned use of district tools and equipment by employees and board members for personal use. The grand jury reported that General Manager Luis Ching frequently allowed employees to use district property for personal use off-site.
  • District officials and their auditor will review credit cards and warrants for the past year for any suspicious charges. The grand jury report alleges that there were multiple gasoline charges on the same day, and hundreds to several thousand dollars of tool purchases monthly.
  • The board adopted performance standards for the general manager at the grand jury’s recommendation. Jurors said there were no such standards.
  • District officials did not find any information to support allegations that improper revisions were made on water quality readings to the State Water Resources Control Board.

Other allegations include hiring employees’ relatives at a higher salary than other employees, lack of employee training, lack of board policies and procedures, and little board oversight of employees.

Colucci said that he, Ching and attorney Mia Brown compiled the grand jury response. Board member Glenda Wall said the response was prepared without the entire board being able to review the response, but Colucci said the board may comment on the response at the next sanitary district board meeting on Oct. 12.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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