By CSLEA Senior Counsel Jim Vitko
SACRAMENTO - On October 28, 2020, California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) Chief Counsel Kasey Clark, Senior Legal Counsel Jim Vitko and California Association of Criminal Investigators (CACI) Board Member Irma Diaz-Martin met with Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Deputy Director Bruce Lim, Assistant Director Bob Sands, Chief Laura Wilbur and Labor Relations Officer Fermin Perez to discuss a potential reorganization of the Audits and Investigations Division. CSLEA represents the peace officer investigators assigned to DHCS who perform criminal and administrative investigations into fraud by Medi-Cal beneficiaries and providers. In early October, CSLEA had received information from members that there was a pending realignment of duties and the possibility of staff reallocation.
At the meeting, Director Lim confirmed there were plans in place for the phasing in of a reorganization over the Audits and Investigations Branch over the next several months with an overall target date of July 1, 2021. He acknowledged there would be program changes for some of the investigative staff expected before the end of the year. Mr. Lim reviewed specific changes and discussed the benefits to both DHCS and the investigative staff, including new promotional opportunities at the supervisory and management levels. There was a robust discussion relating to program changes and CSLEA raised concerns with respect to realignment of personnel and changes in working conditions. CSLEA was assured that office assignments would not be changing at this time and that DHCS will keep CSLEA apprised of future modifications as they occur.