Labor Secretary Lanier agrees with audit ripping ALRB

California Labor Secretary David Lanier agrees with a state audit that found the ALRB to be a wasteful, abusive, unaccountable organization.

Lanier’s agreement with the shocking findings could hammer another nail into the political coffin of scandal-plagued ALRB member Genevieve Shiroma.

Shiroma has led a $10 million campaign to prevent farmworkers’ ballots from being counted after the voted in 2013 on decertification of the UFW. That’s 34% of ALRB’s budget. And Lanier agrees that the ALRB can’t account for its spending.

In a January 16, 2015 letter to the Chief of State Audits and Evaluations in Sacramento, Lanier wrote, “While it is unfortunate that the date collected cannot be immediately used to fully measure and substantiate the current and future workload needs of the ALRB as originally anticipated, we generally agree with the recommendations and will work with the Office of General Counsel, the Office of the Board, and the Administrative Unit to develop appropriate corrective action plans to address the recommendations of the report.”

That “generally agree” caveat looks like a generic public statement to give ALRB, whose board members are appointed by the governor, the benefit of the doubt. But in an attachment, David Lanier said he agreed with every single point. He responded as follows to each of the recommendations, made under headings called “observations,” in the Department of Finance audit:

  • “Observation 1: Inability to Justify Effectiveness or Efficiency of Resource Allocation”
    • Lanier: “We agree with these recommendations . . . .”

      Labor Secretary David Lanier’s letter that agrees with the shocking findings of the audit of ALRB.

      “Observation 2: A More Effective Organizational Structure Is Needed”

      • Lanier: “We concur with these recommendations and are in the process of implementing them.”
  • “Observation 3: Misuse of Limited-Term Blanket Authority”
    • Lanier: “We agree with the recommendations. . . .”
  • “Observation 4: Inefficient Use of State Funds”
    • Lanier: “We agree with the recommendations.”
  • “Observation 5: Incomplete and Inaccurate Accounting Records”
    • Lanier: “We agree with these recommendations. . . .”

Lanier’s meek acceptance of all the recommendations raise further questions about ALRB member Genevieve Shiroma, who has served on the board since 1999 and bears responsibility for all the abuses described in the audit. ALRB Chairman William B. Gould wasn’t appointed until 2013, so while he’s responsible for the FY 2013-14 problems, he can’t be held for earlier ones like Shiroma can.

Hats off to David Lanier for recognizing some of the ALRB’s abuses and lack of accountability.

The state Department of Finance attached a copy of Lanier’s letter to the audit report that it published online. [April 2017: The state has removed the link to Lanier’s letter to the audit report. We retrieved it beforehand, so you can download a copy here.]