Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen has found a loophole to compensate his employees for a 5% pay cut by giving attorneys paid time off that doesn’t impact their accrued vacation time, his office confirmed yesterday.
In order to skirt 5% cuts for upper management
And, after Rosen said he was not only aware of the practice, but also encouraged it, the county has launched its own investigation into the process.
Rosen is giving some of his upper level attorneys administrative leave thousands of hours in total so that they don’t have to use their vacation time after their bonuses were cut in September of 2011.
An NBC investigation sparked action by county executive Jeff Smith who alerted the board of supervisors county auditor and the County Council of the DA’s policy.
“I directed this to happen. I wanted this to happen. This is exactly what I wanted to happen,” Rosen told NBC.
“It was unfair and unprecedented that there 5% differential was taken away so after long and careful thought and deliberation, I instituted a policy.”
That policy crosses out vacation time hours on time sheets and relabels them and administrative leave. Administrative leave is given to employees at the supervisor’s discretion, generally after extensive over working.
An ‘unfair’ policy
Former Santa Clara County Public defender Aram James told the Post yesterday that he thinks the policy is unfair to the criminal justice system.
“I’m sure that Jeff was well intentioned in wanting to give his employees the best possible pay,” James said. But there are other serious considerations, such as the problems with our budget right now it looks unfair.”
He said other departments work just as hard as the high-level District attorneys such as public defenders, paralegals and administrative assistants.
James said although there are a lot to admire in Rosen, this move strikes him as not one of his best qualities. “I was surprised because Jeff is a very intelligent guy who knows we are in a budget crisis,” he said.
Palo Alto resident and economic critic Wayne Martin told the Post yesterday that Rosen claimed he was going to be an “ethical DA,” yet,” This little episode doesn’t exactly pass the smell test.”
Martin said it’s possible too that the administrative leave the attorneys are receiving is well above the bonuses equivalent. The base salary for a high level District Attorney was $192,000 in 2012. Last year, Rosen himself made a salary of $283,195.
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By: The Daily Post