Caltrans employees accused of theft of public funds

May 8, 2012

Six Caltrans workers suspected of grand theft and conspiracy were arrested Monday by the California Highway Patrol.

CHP officials said the six are suspected of falsely charging more than $100,000 in overtime and stealing 22 highway signs.

One of those charged, Phillip Taylor, had already retired from the Willow Springs Maintenance station about 10 miles north of the San Luis Obispo County line on Highway 1. The other five, Richard Johnson, Danny Millsap, Robert Eskridge, Kevin Liddiard, and Angelina Galvan — were employees at the time of their arrests.

All but one of the Willow Springs Maintenance station employees were arrested.

Officers transported the six former Caltrans employees to the Monterey County Jail where they are being held on $1 million bail each.



  1. Randy Sheila says:

    $1,000,000.00 bail for each one! Murders don’t get that. Nice one judge, another sacrifice of public trust in the judicial system. Why don’t we call judges what they are, political puppets? Can anyone say witch-hunt. Now let’s get that bad old public servant and take away more from all of them. Does anybody remember the emergency contracts to get the highway reopened – an open checkbook to pay contractors, subs, and yes, public servants. Isn’t interesting how for $20k in overtime these folks risked their whole careers and retirements, the risks don’t weight with the benefits. Stealing signs for profit doesn’t weigh either. After having worked in Big Sur on the highway, you quickly realize that you are part of a family of locals, Caltrans, local laborers and contractors who end-up improvising, sharing everything and randomly storing materials because you’re so damn far away from anything. A work day can get eaten-up by chasing a simple equipment malfunction or broken part, fuel, tools, etc. A five month investigation should have some pretty good evidence to convict, or else more confidence in public servants, including State administrators, DA’s and law enforcement will be lost.

    (-1) 27 Total Votes - 13 up - 14 down
  2. fhill123 says:

    Topic is the theft by Cal Trans Workers, not unions.

    Nevertheless, did they steal any of those shovels that can stand up by themselves with no help from the workers?

    (-9) 23 Total Votes - 7 up - 16 down
  3. danika says:

    Here is another shining example of crime from inside:

    This should make city councilpersons everywhere take note: we are awake.

    (9) 13 Total Votes - 11 up - 2 down
  4. danika says:

    Very glad justice is served.

    I do question the bail amount…in comparison to George Zimmerman’s bail of $150k for second degree murder, this seems very inflated.

    I bet there is much more to this story than we know at this point.

    (14) 22 Total Votes - 18 up - 4 down
    • SLOBIRD says:

      It’s California, the Golden State$$$$$

      (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  5. rogerfreberg says:

    …. obviously no supervision

    (2) 32 Total Votes - 17 up - 15 down
    • Ted Slanders says:


      Such a terse, but revelational statement! Awe inspiring, to say the least.

      Thank you.

      (5) 25 Total Votes - 15 up - 10 down
    • danika says:

      Do we know none of the arrested weren’t supervisors?

      (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      Maybe the “supervision” was criminal.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  6. Maxfusion says:

    Oh please, a 100 grand. They bilk the taxpayers out of that much in a single day through misuse of state credit cards. Hell, every time they cash a paycheck they commit grand larceny.

    (-31) 71 Total Votes - 20 up - 51 down
    • Maxfusion says:

      Want to have some fun? Follow the thumbs down to my post and see how many come from bureaucrat computers, and posted during “work” hours. Any bets?

      (-5) 15 Total Votes - 5 up - 10 down
  7. TacomaRose says:

    If you think about it there really isnt much difference between these mopes and the likes of certain people higher up the ladder like Wade Mckinney, Jim App, Lisa Solomon who steal using their pens.

    These six caltrans workers averaged 16 to 17 thousand apiece yet App paid Solomon over 200,000 in hush money that rightfully belongs to our taxpayers.

    And what about the FEMA rip off? Both McKinney and App had their fingerprints on millions.

    (59) 67 Total Votes - 63 up - 4 down
    • danika says:

      An external audit must be done for the city of Paso Robles, by an outside party with no association with anyone working or representing the city, past or present, in any way. We are working to have the State do this. The proper documents have been submitted and we are waiting for response from the State.

      (22) 24 Total Votes - 23 up - 1 down
  8. SLOBIRD says:

    Nothing will happen to these losers because the Unions will step in and wheel and deal on their behalf. They should hold these employees up as role models as what not to do as this is nothing in the scheme of things… $100,000 in overtime by six employees. And the one who retired should lose his pension, Give gim back a all the money he persosnally paid into the retirement system and he should get nothing from the State. Shame on their greed!

    (1) 59 Total Votes - 30 up - 29 down
    • Ted Slanders says:


      Boooo hoooo, it’s those damn Unions again! Damn em!

      Do the simple math, hello? It won’t be the Unions stepping in to anything, but their “DEFENSE LAWYERS”, get it?

      Should we hold up Bush and Cheney as role models too since they explicitly stole from the poor middle class by giving to the rich with the Bush Tax Cuts? Should we also make role models of the current Republicans that want to keep these tax cuts in place at all costs?!

      Yes, shame on the greed of the Republicans! They have turned into an ungodly bunch, and Jesus is NOT smiling!

      (-3) 79 Total Votes - 38 up - 41 down
      • Theo P. Neustic says:

        The poor don’t pay income taxes. You can keep saying it over but that won’t make it true.

        (-10) 50 Total Votes - 20 up - 30 down
        • Ted Slanders says:


          Do the simple and logical math, okay? Yes, some don’t pay income taxes because they’re out of a job!!! Why? Learn the first law of the universe; cause and effect!

          The cause of them being poor middle class at this time, was the financial collapse that started with the Bush Administration and running up the deficit with two UN-FUNDED and needless wars, Bush Tax Cuts to the rich, and Medicare part D, all UN-FUNDED!

          750,000 jobs lost the month when “W” left office, with prior job loss before and subsequent to him leaving office! “W” turning away from the Wall Street shenanigans, then giving them 700 Billion to bale them out! The Banksters with their insidious sub-prime loans, all of which, the Bush Administration looked the other way!

          Then you wonder why some of the middle-class don’t pay taxes? It’s because they are hardly hanging on because of the facts above! HELLO?

          (3) 65 Total Votes - 34 up - 31 down
        • JonnyB says:

          Poor? Which poor?

          The bottom half of US who made a whopping 12.76% of ALL US income, a drop of 30%+ since 1980 (almost $5,000 adjusted)? Top 1% made 23% in 2007!

          Or the bottom 20% of US who paid 16.3% of their incomes in taxes in 2010?

          Or are you talking about that federal pie that is out post WW2 levels of of revenues? 41% of total fed revenues came via “income taxes”. Guess which type of tax the “poor” actually pay?

          (-5) 11 Total Votes - 3 up - 8 down
      • kitten says:

        How is it STEALING by letting people KEEP THE MONEY THEY EARNED?!?!?!?!?!?!? The theft is when the govmt. TAKES it from them to give to the lazy bums sitting around smoking, drinking and doing drugs all day while the other 51% of us are out bustin OUR butts to pay for them. That is the real theft!!!

        (13) 49 Total Votes - 31 up - 18 down
        • JonnyB says:

          Money they earned? So the structure of US didn’t help? Why don’t they have so many “rich” in Mexico, Somalia or even Germany again?

          Gov policy matters!

          You recognize the bottom 50% of US made 12.76% of ALL US income right? Average in 2010 per family, $15,300

          Get out of your winger world about the bottom 50% of US not “working”

          Federal tax revenues are (4 years now) at Korean War levels (pre Medicare) of 16% of GDP. Even Ronnie had 18%-20% when he tripled US debt :)

          (-5) 17 Total Votes - 6 up - 11 down
      • SLOBIRD says:

        Last time I looked around, the taxes being paid were paid by the millionaires, working class and the retirees. The low lifes on housing assistance, ssi, food stamps, free breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, bus rides, bags of groceries, free phones, discounted utilities, etc. are getting all the freebies because the millionaires, corporations, and sucessful hardworking determined folks are out there doing what they know needed to be done – work! The freeloaders, occupiers, and unions are draining society as a whole. Let’s see how successful France and Greece are with theor zealous socialist beliefs… I have to go back to work now, someone just signed up for foodstamps. Yes, foodstamps, not California Fresh pansy name…

        (7) 21 Total Votes - 14 up - 7 down
        • JonnyB says:

          MORE CONservative nonsense :(

          You do understand CATO Institute, that CONservative/Libertarian “Think Tank” says Corps get almost twice as much “welfare” as people right?

          That the average person on welfare is there for 26 months? Is a woman with CHILDREN? Used to be married?

          Your anti union BS is just more Faux Noise BS. Zero reality!

          Unions and PROGRESSIVE policies built the worlds largest middle class. CONservative policy’s have shrunk it by 10% the past 40 years!

          Food stamps? Gosh go talk to that red state Texas as they are the leader in those, along with the most min wage jobs, high school drop outs, teen preg, uninsured, etc, lol

          Food Stamps

          (-3) 21 Total Votes - 9 up - 12 down
          • The Gimlet Eye says:

            The Cato Institute is NOT Libertarian. It’s full of “Neo-Cons.” It took a wrong turn years ago and never looked back. Murray Rothbard used to be associated with it, but he quit them as soon as he realized what they were up to.

            (-1) 9 Total Votes - 4 up - 5 down
    • Sophiajam says:

      The unions will NOT defend any of these people if the evidence even remotely suggests that they had any involvement in these crimes. I don’t understand why you feel the need to attack the Unions over this issue? I believe that all people are innocent until proven guilty, but you should be attacking the actions of the people involved not the Union!! Please do not attack the Union or any other employee of Cal-Trans as they are NOT involved in this situation. By the way, I am NOT an employee of CAL-Trans. Are you aware that Cal-Trans employees for 3 years gave up 15% of their salary? Are you aware that most CAL-Trans employees make less working for the State than they would in the private sector? Now, I do agree with you, that these rouque workers should be held up as EXAMPLES of what not to do in ANY job! Please give our State and County workers a break!

      (22) 32 Total Votes - 27 up - 5 down
      • Ted Slanders says:


        There’re many Union bashers within this forum because of the talking points of Faux News. They don’t have the ability to acertain for themselves why Unions are revelant in today’s economy, nor do they know their history, other than to rant against them because that is what they were told to do.


        (14) 32 Total Votes - 23 up - 9 down
        • Sophiajam says:

          Thank you Ted! Thank you for responding to my post. I was beginning to think that I was the only pro union person left on the Central Coast! I too wish that people would realize that Unions are very relevant in todays economy. I also wish that they would do some research before slamming them. The people that died and fought so hard to get Union representation so many years ago would be turning over in their graves if they could hear all of the Union bashing going on today. Love the post and not just because you agree with me, but you clearly have critical thinking skills.

          (7) 33 Total Votes - 20 up - 13 down
      • SLOBIRD says:

        Pardon me, did you say “Are you aware that most CAL-Trans employees make less working for the State than they would in the private sector?”? Really! May I suggest anyone of them go find a job in the private sector and do a real days work and then they will know the difference as to why! Assuming of course, they can find work. I have not seen a County or Cal Trans work crews in over six months. Where are all these workers we are paying for. Please, I would be willing to take a drive tomorrow if I could see more than six Cal-Trans workers “WORKING”. I would be willing to come back and report on this action news…

        (-11) 17 Total Votes - 3 up - 14 down
        • JonnyB says:

          Explain how Germany with only 40% of the US GDP AND 40% unionized workforces, they can export more than US?

          How German workers get min 6 weeks vacation? UHC? Pay about $1,000 a year for university tuition?

          Hmm, perhaps unions and safety nets aren’t a bad thing?


          (1) 15 Total Votes - 8 up - 7 down
          • The Gimlet Eye says:

            Even if they do, that’s not sustainable economics. I look for the EU to crash and burn. Europe will go back to being Europe soon, instead of this autocracy ruled by criminal bankers.

            (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
            • JonnyB says:

              GERMANY. I know CONservatives LOVE to CONflate things!

              Sustainable? You mean good gov policy that Germany uses? Instead of “trickle down” BS the US has used?

              (-4) 8 Total Votes - 2 up - 6 down
        • Sophiajam says:

          SLOBIRD…how about you get a job with CAL-Trans working cleaning up the rest stops? Look up the pay rates and the job requirements. See if it interests you? Doesn’t interest me! Oh, and WE are not paying for their salaries directly out of our state income taxes. CAl-Trans is funded by the gas tax.

          (6) 14 Total Votes - 10 up - 4 down
          • SLOBIRD says:

            Gosh, am I to feel better about that. Another useless tax as I drive on my local streets. Where is the money for the local municipalities. Oh, I forgot, it’s being used on Hwy 1, six losers reaping off the taxpayers. $100.000 overtime, stealing State property, etc. I know, they are underpaid, overworked, cheated on their benefits, pay cuts, etc. Just keep those tax dollars coming for the nanny state. I look forward to the day California collapses and people start using their heads and making intelligent decisions again. Maybe their is hope in the future, but off in the distance for sure!

            (-5) 9 Total Votes - 2 up - 7 down
      • danika says:

        I MUST interject something here: I have a client who has worked her way up in a specific Dept. at Cal Trans. 15 years ago she started in SLO; she now has a cushy Sacto office, an assistant and is paid VERY well for what she does. She is the first to shake her head about her ridiculous income. She literally buys a new BMW every 2 years and has purchased a 2nd home…in Florida for vacation purposes. She has no mortgages or leinholder on her vehicle. Yes, she did get furloughed and did give 15% of her salary but SHE laughed when she told me this and stated “like I feel that?” Not everyone at CalTrans reflects the picture you painted, Sophia. Some, yes, but not all.

        (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
        • JonnyB says:

          Oh you are talking MANAGEMENT Karen!

          (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down
          • danika says:

            Johnny, she wasn’t hired as managment and only recently became so. Her paycheck was generous from the start.

            (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
            • JonnyB says:


              Transportation Engineer, Civil – Monthly

              Avg. Salary $6,139/mo

              Associate Transportation Planner – Monthly

              Avg. Salary $4,890/mo


              YOU ANTI UNION “FREE TRADE” FAUX “NEWS” FOLLOWERS ARE AWFUL FUNNY THOUGH! Next you’ll be telling me the avg teacher in Cali who is retired on $25,000 a year is overpaid :(

              (-8) 10 Total Votes - 1 up - 9 down
              • SLOBIRD says:


                Not sure where you got your info but under open recruitments this morning, this position is open not for $6.139 but maybe you are talking about an entry level engineer:

                SENIOR TRANSPORTATION ENGINEER, CALTRANS – $8,122.00-$9,870.00
                Full Time Permanent


                Please, present all the facts for accountability. Thank you!

                (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
                • Sophiajam says:

                  Look up how much an entry level maintenance or other blue collar postion makes. Don’t go looking for “senior” positions, because of course the pay is high. What are the educational requirements listed??? Just curious

                  (1) 11 Total Votes - 6 up - 5 down
                • SLOBIRD says:

                  Sorry, JonnyB interjected engineer and that was my response, not entry level maintenance. Does the pay at any level justify stealing from your boss – the taxpapyers??? Sure hope not!

                  (-1) 7 Total Votes - 3 up - 4 down
                • JonnyB says:



                  “Employee is required to hold valid registration as a professional Civil Engineer.”


                  About YOUR “all the fact” BS? LOL

                  (-2) 8 Total Votes - 3 up - 5 down
                • danika says:

                  Yes, “really”. I got my info directly from the source, not a “lookup”. Based on her conversations with me over the last 15 years, I think she knows how much she makes and can speak to her own “luck” as having such a well paid job. She started out as a lowly employee at CalTrans, just like everyone else.

                  (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
              • danika says:

                Jonny, you read a lot into what I actually said. I don’t believe I stated I am “ANTI UNION” anywhere, nor that I watch Fox News. I watch NBC actually and find it is the worst display of imbalanced reporting in the history of broadcasting. It might as well be called WHB, White House Broadcasting.

                One of my very best friends is a retired teacher from Atascadero High School and she makes $7,500 a month on her retirement, NOT including the value of her retirement benefits. A far cry from $25k.

                What I am telling you is that I find challenge with my actual evidence against your claims. Take a breath and calm down. We can disagree in adult fashion, can we not?

                (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
        • Sophiajam says:

          You are talking about management, not the average worker.

          (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down
          • danika says:

            Again, Sophiajam, I refer you to my prior post above, addressing this very comment with Jonny.

            (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down

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