March 20, 2008

DOL Attorney Worked for Private Clients on State Time

DOL Attorney Worked for Private Clients on State Time

An investigation by New York State Inspector General Kristine Hamann found a state Department of Labor attorney had conducted her private law practice on state time since 1989, despite a reprimand for the behavior.

Christine Timber, 58, of Albany, a Workforce Program Manager II earning $101,049 a year, worked at the DOL since November, 1989. She was responsible for the Single Program Empire Zone, analyzing economic incentive programs.

The Inspector General uncovered numerous computer files, dating to 1999, as well as telephone and facsimile machine use in 2007 that pertained to Timber’s private law practice.

Inspector General Hamann stated: “New York taxpayers shouldn’t have to subsidize Ms. Timber’s private business, especially after she was warned previously.”

Department of Labor policy prohibits employees from engaging in “any outside business or activity (including unpaid or voluntary activities) during hours in which the employee would normally be on duty.”

Timber admitted to investigators that she had spent state time and resources on her private law practice since she joined DOL in 1989. The DOL reprimanded Timber for the behavior in 1994, after an Inspector General’s investigation into similar misconduct allegations.

As a result of the instant investigation, Timber resigned her Department of Labor position effective June 8, 2008.