El Dorado County, CA – Ty Robben reporting. Like the small town of Bell, CA where corruption made recent nation wide headlines. Pissed-off citizens of El Dorado County, CA consisting of the west slope area of Placerville, El Dorado Hills, Georgetown, Shingle Springs, Fair Play, Pollock Pines, Camino and all the way to South Lake Tahoe have formed political PAC called Committee of Vigilance Against Corruption or COVAC.info to take on local county corruption.
Citizens are outraged to learn of the escalating wrongdoings, eyebrow raising salaries in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, double dipping, and vendettas by county officials primarily in the El Dorado County District Attorney office under the watch of Vern Pierson and William “Bill” Clark. An example is how DA Vern Pierson acts both as the District Attorney AND IT Director for El Dorado Taxpayers.
Illegitimate Salary and Pension Spiking
Much like the scandal that rocked the City of Bell, there has been an intentionally hidden discrepancy
between the “published” salaries of some elected officials in El Dorado County and what they are actually
taking home. This problem was recently brought to public attention in a May 2013 salary study conducted by
the Publius Group. This study found that the “published” salary we believed we had paid Auditor-Controller
Joe Harn in 2011 was listed as $157,810.00. In reality, County Auditor-Controller Joe Harn, who supervises
a staff of 24.6 full time employees, took a total annual salary of $200,106.00 and a further benefit package
of $47,636.00 for a total cost to taxpayers of $247,742.00. Accordingly, John Chaing, the Controller for the
entire State Government of California supervises 1,520 full time employees only receives $136,994.00 in
annual salary. Furthermore, the Publius Group Study revealed that Joe Harn pulled off this deception and has
been spiking booth his salary and retirement benefits by claiming salary bonuses for both longevity and being
a Certified Public Accountant that were originally intended to help retain valuable civil service employees.
This same Publius Group Study found that the published salary we thought we paid District Attorney
Vern Pierson in 2011 was $159,910.00. Instead, this study brought to light the hidden fact that in 2011
District Attorney Vern Pierson supervised a staff of 61.2 full time employees and took an annual salary of
$174,920.00 and a benefit package of $46,108 for a total taxpayer cost of $221,028.00. Not surprisingly,
the Publius Group Study revealed that Vern Pierson pulled off this deception and has been spiking booth
his salary and retirement benefits by claiming the same longevity salary bonus as Harn which was originally
intended to help retain valuable civil service employees. COVAC will continue to investigate and expose this
shameful salary scandal.
Here is a link to the study conducted by the Publius Group (right click and select “save link as” to download the PDF file)..
Who We Are
We are ordinary people like you who are disgusted with the corruption in our local government. Most of our founding members or contributors live in El Dorado County, California – the birthplace of the California Gold Rush. Our organization, the Committee of Vigilance Against Corruption is a Political Action Committee formed under the laws set forth in the State of California’s Fair Political Practices Act. Our Political Action Committee, or PAC, is formed for the purpose of defeating corrupt local elected officials in California.
Our membership consists of local citizens fed-up with elected officials who are using their office for personal enrichment and career advancement, or abusing their power to retaliate against their personal and political enemies. Donations to our PAC are not tax deductible. Donations exceeding $99.00 in a single calendar year are required to be publicly reported to the California State Fair Political Practices Commission. All of our filings with the California FPPC are open to public
In Your Court! Just Compensation? This Could Be You! What Is Your Verdict? Tell Your Story!
District Attorney Vern Pierson
Abuse of Office –
1. Fraudulently bringing Criminal Charges or Civil Suits against his personal and political enemies with the intention of using the County’s unlimited financial resources to ruin their reputations and destroy them financially.
2. Failing to Investigate or prosecute Crimes and Malfeasance of personal and political friends.
3. Coercing court cases by using the County’s unlimited financial resources to outspend innocent citizens to force honest people into accepting unjust plea deals and settlements.
Illegitimate Salary and Pension Spiking -
1. Abusing the System intended to help retain valuable County employees with Civil Service status by taking an undeserved “longevity bonus”– this was never intended to apply to elected officials without term limits.
County Auditor-Controller Joe Harn
CHARGES Abuse of Office –
1. Fraudulently using the Grand Jury to bring false or fabricated Criminal Charges or Civil Suits against his
personal and political enemies with the intention of using the County’s unlimited financial resources to
ruin their reputations and destroy them financially.
2. Creating a climate of fear and intimidation with County employees.
3. Arbitrary and Capricious treatment of local agencies his office is contracted to administer.
4. Using his influence to have his daughter, with no experience, hired in the County’s administration at a
senior level salary over more qualified existing county employees who sought this “plum” position.
5. Coercing court cases by using the county’s unlimited financial resources to outspend innocent citizens to
force honest people into accepting unjust plea deals and settlements
Negligence and Malfeasance –
1. Failure to notice and inform El Dorado County Fire that the El Dorado County Ambulance Joint
Powers Authority would be requiring a $700,000.00 reimbursement until years later and leading to a
Illegitimate Salary and Pension Spiking –
1. Abusing the System intended to help retain valuable County employees with Civil Service status by taking
an undeserved “professional credential” bonus for having a Certified Public Accountant certificate – even
though being a CPA is one of the acceptable requirements to be placed on the ballot to run for AuditorController.
2. Abusing the System intended to help retain valuable County employees with Civil Service status by taking
an undeserved “longevity bonus”– this was never intended to apply to elected officials without term
On top of this is the array of high profile failures of leadership as both DA and IT Director. The DA office is failing to prosecute crimes in El Dorado County and instead spending resources on political with-hunts like the Ray Nutting case.
The group, COVAC plans mass exposure to expose the corruption, and at the same time plans to support political officials standing up to the tyranny and working for the Taxpayers who pay their salaries.
Image: Auditor-Controller Joe Harn objected to highly placed personnel getting pay raises that were not …
Admin – 12/06/2012 – 13:21 – 5 comments
Image: I have talked to Joe Harn about 6 months ago and I told him that he is making too much money. Every …
Admin – 06/28/2013 – 09:41 – 4 comments
… do his job!!! Orange county has 15 times more people but Joe Harn gets paid more than their Auditor! This is a bad joke. This guy is …
Admin – 05/24/2013 – 09:18 – 0 comments
… was another duplicate copy of the e-mail from County Auditor Joe Harn, CPA, asking for an explanation as to how the mistake happened and who was …
Admin – 06/27/2013 – 06:47 – 0 comments
… What I am about to describe about Joe Harn is based on my own experience. One of my duties at the county made it …
Admin – 06/27/2013 – 08:18 – 2 comments
… or About) Sometime about April 11 Vern Pearson emails Joe Harn about Sierra Coordinated Resource Management Council. Joe Harn …
Admin – 05/16/2013 – 12:29 – 5 comments
… that is being investigated is: “Our Auditor-Controller, Joe Harn, appears to have convicted District 2 Supervisor. The question is why is …
Admin – 06/24/2013 – 08:34 – 9 comments
Breaking: Supervisor Ray Nutting releases over 100 pages of documents disputing the claims of Auditor Joe Harn
… facts”… In recent weeks Auditor-Controller Joe Harn has been featured in a number of news and talk show programs making …
Admin – 05/07/2013 – 19:02 – 1 comment
… long, a limitation of the software. County Auditor Joe Harn, CPA, stated that his department was looking at how they might truncate … more than a four-digit account number? Are you kidding me? Joe Harn also stated that they are trying to determine how the county can use …
Admin – 06/29/2013 – 21:06 – 0 comments
… the compensation of El Dorado County Auditor-Controller Joe Harn indicate that he is paid far more than comparable … compiled by The …
Auditor-Controller: Key Findings
- The El Dorado County Auditor-Controller is the 3rd highest paid Auditor-Controller in the State in 2011 with a total wage of $200,106.
- lncluding benefits, total compensation for the Auditor-Controller in 2011 was $247,742.
- The Auditor-Controller is paid 15% to 52% more than auditor-controllers in counties of similar size to El Dorado County.
- The average salary for elected Auditor-Controller’s in 2011 was $143,587. The El Dorado County Auditor Controller was paid $56,519 more than the average.
- The Auditor-Controller is paid extra for being qualified to hold office. On top of the maximum salary listed in the El Dorado County salary schedule, El Dorado County’s Auditor-Controller is paid extra for being a Certified Public Accountant, which is one of the acceptable qualifications for the position under the California Government Code.
- On top of the maximum salary listed in the El Dorado County salary schedule, the Auditor- Controller is paid “longevity pay” despite the position being an elected office.
The position of Auditor-Controller is an elected office under the El Dorado County Charter. Twelve counties do not have elected Auditor-Controllers? Many counties combined the position of Auditor-Controller with other offices. Interestingly, the El Dorado County Auditor-Controllers wage significantly outpaces the California State Controller, though responsible for a considerably smaller number of employees.
El Dorado County Auditor-Controller pay is $200,106 and has 24.6 employees. #4
The California State Controller pay is $136,994 and has 1,520 employees.
The El Dorado County Auditor-Controller is among the highest paid compared to elected auditor-controllers in other counties. In 2011, the El Dorado County Auditor-Controller was paid over $200,000 making him the third highest paid auditor-controller in the State. By comparison, the average wage for elected county auditors in 2011 was $143,587, $56,519 less than El Dorado County’s Auditor-Controller.
The higher than average wage appears to be a trend not isolated to 2011. Among elected auditor-controllers, the El Dorado County incumbent was the 4th highest paid Auditor-Controller in the State of California for 2009 and 2010.
In addition to salary, the El Dorado County Auditor-Controller is provided a generous benefit package relative to other elected Auditor-Controllers. A total of $47,636 in benefits was reported in 2011 including:
- $26,798 toward a defined benefit plan.
- $4,745 toward deferred compensation.
- $16,093 toward health, dental, and vision benefits.
Benefits provided to the El Dorado County Auditor-Controller are the 14th most generous in the State of California among elected Auditor-Controllers.
#3 Data for comparisons includes elected positions only. Does not include the counties of Glenn, Kings, Los ‘ Angeles, Madera, Marin, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Clara, and Trinity. Data for the – City and County of San Francisco omitted.
#4 County of El Dorado Human Resources Department, Personnel Allocation Report FY 2012-13, , * http:_//www.edcgov.us_/HumanResources/
– See more at: http://www.inedc.com/1-4736#sthash.cHlYlxdT.dpuf