APPOINTMENT: Davis Taps Chen to Head Correctional Agency Inspections
Gov. Gray Davis (D) sparked controversy this week when he appointed John Chen, former acting chief of the state's fraud bureau, to the post of chief deputy inspector general of the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. As head of the fraud division in 1998, Chen reprimanded subordinate J. Alan Cates, who had contacted the FBI about "massive fraud" in the Medi-Cal system, leading to a joint state-federal investigation. After accusing Cates of "very poor judgement," Chen had him transferred out of the Medi-Cal audit bureau. Cates, however, now heads the state's Medi-Cal fraud unit and the investigation he sparked has resulted in 78 indictments. As deputy inspector general, Chen, who currently serves as chief of the division of audits in the state controller's office, will direct audits within the correctional agency. Despite the controversy, Davis Press Secretary Michael Bustamante hailed Chen as "an extraordinary individual who has a lifelong record of working to protect consumers and taxpayers against fraud." He added, "The governor believes he'll continue that record as inspector general" (Ainsworth, 1/20). One investigation likely to garner Chen's immediate attention involves charges that the California Youth Authority last year spent $700,000 on medications to control unruly inmates without personal consent or parental notification.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.