California Controller John Chiang Honored with Environmental Leadership Award

Posted on 07 December 2012

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By Jenesse Miller

With a dedication that may not immediately be associated with his job description as the state's chief fiscal officer, Controller John Chiang has been a leader in the fight to safeguard California’s environment.

Controller Chiang has worked to make California's finances more transparent and accountable to the public, and fought to weed out waste, fraud and abuse of public money. But what earned him the California League of Conservation Voter's Environmental Leadership Award at our annual gala event this week is his commitment to protecting the state's vast and precious natural resources for all Californians.

In particular, the Controller has led the effort to protect our state's more than 1,000 miles of coastline, which is crucial to the state and national economy, producing more than half a million jobs in California and 2 million nationally.

As a member of the State Lands Commission, Chiang cast the deciding vote against what would have been the first new off-shore oil drilling lease in 40 years. His decision was based on the secrecy of the project, the inability of the commission to enforce its provisions, and the overriding concern that approving the new lease may open California up to more off-shore oil drilling.

In response to a 2009 report indicating that sea levels are projected to rise 16 inches by 2050, and 55 inches by 2100, the Controller also led the drive at the State Lands Commission to assess what plans are in place to address sea level rise. When a survey indicated few plans had been made, the Controller sponsored legislation requiring plans be developed and implemented.

Chiang also voted to deny a lease for a Liquefied Natural Gas terminal off of the coast of Oxnard because the emissions from the tankers and the terminal would have adversely impacted Southern California residents. Moreover, Chiang believed the project wasn't in line with the spirit of California's landmark policies that move us toward cleaner, renewable energy alternatives.

The Controller also has advocated for increased disclosure by companies doing business with CalPERS and CalSTRS of risks associated with climate change that could impact long-term investment returns. In 2008, at the Investor Summit on Climate Risk at the United Nations Headquarters, Chiang announced his initiative to survey investment managers in the CalPERS and CalSTRS portfolios on their ability to evaluate climate risks and opportunities, and ask them to consider adopting a checklist to evaluate best practices of corporate governance regarding climate disclosure. Both funds adopted this first-in-the-nation initiative as part of their corporate governance principles, and are engaging companies and investment managers on these important steps.

Continuing his leadership on climate change, earlier this year, Controller Chiang introduced legislation to create affordable energy-efficient retrofits for commercial buildings throughout California as a way to create jobs and reduce businesses' carbon footprint.

CLCV was proud to honor Controller John Chiang, along with fellow 2012 honorees Dayna Bochco, Paramount Pictures and Annie Shen Smith yesterday in Los Angeles.

Jenesse Miller is the Communications Director for the California League of Conservation Voters, where this article originally appeared.

you said: "Controller Chiang has worked to make California's finances more transparent and accountable to the public, and fought to weed out waste, fraud and abuse of public money. "

THIS PUBLIC RELATION CAMPAIGN sounds very well on the surface but in my own personal experiences, an outsider if you will, a former accountant and compliance auditor for State of AZ and a California injured worker.......I continue to find waste, fraud, and mismanagement. I would hope that Controller Chiang should look into the accounting activities and conduct an audit in the Department of Industrial Relations Department. My most recent finding when I requested a payment history from SIF, a staff there has made several "false claim".

1) I was overpaid benefit and the staff contacted my attorney to forget this "overpayment" in exchange for the "COLA" underpayments due to me as a result of California Supreme Court ruling on Labor code 4659 (c).

2) The payment history printout provided to me by SIF staff via my Attorney Art Johnson indicated a payment for "burial expense".

let me expplain:

The overpayment according to the printout was in FACT the three (3) voided checks I reported to SIF and the Bureau of Audit to be investigated for fraud. Fraud? Yes , because two of this checks were virtually IDENTICAL. same number, same signature, same check from the State Treasurer for the same PD payperiod. The third is another check issued to me for the same pay-period which I also voided and forwarded to the DWC Internal Audit Manager, AND to the Bureau of Auditor, Elaine Howle to be investigated.

As you can apprently see, I am still ALIVE and not "buried". Why would SIF have this in my payment history? And how did the Controller reconciled the States' books?

And what IS the hold-up in paying what is due to me, when the California Supreme Court has already ruled on the COLA issue in 8/11/2011....months .after the defendant in Baker v WCAB "BREACHED MY RIGHT to PRIVACY" by failing to REDACT my name from a record that was posted in the internet, exposing my HIV+, Hep B status and other medical condition and personal identifiable information? (And by the way IS a violation and a contempt of "protective" Court-order that was issued by WCAB Presiding Judge Oliver written in DIR letterhead.) Which is also discrimination issue because according to former Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger he has signed into law a much stricter penalty for Privacy violation as a result of UCLA staffer invading his wife's medical privacy. YET I HAVE NOT A SINGLE appology from the state official that offended me and violated my fundamental civil rights afforded for all citizens of United State.

So once again, I publicly request from the state officials. In particular, I would address this question to State Controller Chiang.......WHEN WILL YOU CONDUCT an AUDIT of my workers compensation claim to make sure DIR gets it right this time? My life has been severely interrupted by the fraud, waste, and mismanagement I have reported thus far.

From one accountant to another accountant....when will accounting get it right? What "accounting system" does the State of California utilizes that can produce a check that IS virtually IDENTICAL? How did the States' accountant RECONCILE the accounts and what accounting entries were made to reverse this identical transactions. Who has the authority to "override" an unreconcilable item?

What did the Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye do to resolve the issue of Breach of my Privacy? Was anyone held accountable for breaking the LAW? What remedy took place? I continue to suffer damages as a result of THAT BREACH. I discovered today from other resources that my records have been tampered and an unauthorize individual perhaps an identity thieve may be using it in Salono County and Maricopa County in recent.