California National Guard Pay Subject Of Investigation

FRESNO (KCBS) — The commander of the California National Guard Fighter Wing at Fresno has been relieved of his command after an investigation determined that he and his pilots were sometimes earning double pay.

The Sacramento Bee reports that eight California Air National Guard pilots are under criminal investigation for allegedly padding their salaries by getting paid for more than one shift on the same day.

KCBS’ Bob Butler Reports:

After their regular shifts, they sometimes went on alert or standby at full pay. But National Guard Major Tom Keegan said the policy that allowed this “double-dipping” was changed in March.

“They took out a lot of the language that allowed more of a liberal interpretation and cleared it up specifically that wouldn’t allow for a dual compensation violation,” Keegan said.

The newspaper investigation also found that the practice may have gone back many years and could have cost taxpayers millions of dollars. It may also have potentially jeopardized public and pilot safety by failing to provide pilots with adequate rest.

The commander, Colonel Gary Taylor, was on pace to earn more than $300,000 this year. The investigation will determine if he and the other pilots will have to pay the money back.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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