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DMV Employee Who Habitually Snoozed on the Job Without Reprimand Cost Taxpayers $40K: State Audit

A key worker at the California Department of Motor Vehicles consistently spent a large chunk of her workday sleeping at her desk, costing the state more than $40,000, according to the findings of a state audit released Tuesday.

The woman, a data operator, snoozed for at least three hours a day at work during a four-year period without reprimand from her supervisors, the state auditor's report found. Authorities did not release the name of the employee involved.

Although the woman's manager knew about the naps, that person failed to take action, the report revealed. Instead, the employee’s performance evaluations since February 2014 all include mention of her sleeping on the job — with no apparent attempt to improve the situation.

The supervisor admitted to having to wake the employee up three to four times per day, and sometimes knew she was sleeping but didn't bother to wake her at all, investigators said. State officials said the manager failed to take any disciplinary action or consider if a serious medical condition was contributing to the excessive sleep.

Others in the office alleged the napper worked at a much slower rate, and an annual review showed she processed less than half the number of documents her colleagues did.

In total, she slept through about 2,200 hours of work, the report said.

As a result, the employee likely "prevented DMV from providing the public with an appropriate level of service," the audit states.

In response to the findings of the investigation, the DMV began administering supervisor training to ensure that supervision improves throughout the agency.

In a statement to KTLA sister station KTXL in Sacramento, the DMV said it takes employee performance issues seriously. “The DMV implemented the California State Auditor’s recommendations and is monitoring the unit to ensure this behavior does not continue.”

Six other investigations prompted by the office of the state auditor at different state agencies, including two university campuses, look into other employees who improperly used state time and property in “economically wasteful activities” amounting to approximately $200,000 in inappropriate spending.

KTLA's Erika Martin contributed to this report.