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Workers' compensation paid to California board member

After reportedly causing a car accident, a man who serves on the board of a California city's water agency received workers' compensation. However, because of two previous convictions of driving under the influence, his driver's license has been suspended since 2003. Some of his fellow board members think that he may be receiving workers' compensation payments under improper circumstances, and they believe that those payments should be withdrawn.

Several years ago, the man was driving a truck belonging to his brother when he hit another car. That impact caused him to hit four more cars. Five people suffered varying degrees of injuries in the incident, including the board member. Police reports state that the man claimed he had been on his way home from performing a job. However, some of his fellow board members claim he was never requested to perform the job, nor was he qualified to do.

The man was paid $63,000 in workers' compensation benefits despite the fact that members of the water agency reportedly never questioned him about his license, or the lack thereof. He is also being paid a stipend of $600 per month for a vehicle to use while on the job. Two of the board members are asking that the stipend be stopped since the accident did not happen on agency time and the man had no valid license.

Even though several other board members have spoken out against the man's workers' compensation payment, if what the man says is correct, he was on his way home from doing a job when the accident occurred -- whether or not his peers believe he was qualified for the job. Multiple board members have also brought up the fact that the man was allegedly driving without a valid license, but it appears that the company allowed the man to continue driving to jobs, which was potentially dangerous to the man. California residents who suffer from job-related injuries have the right to file a claim to receive workers' compensation benefits for which they are entitled, and this man will undoubtedly continue to fight to keep his payment.

Source: San Gabriel Valley Tribune, $600 monthly payment for a car despite no valid driver's license? Water board caught in controversy, Jason Henry, Mar. 6, 2014

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Making a false or fraudulent workers’ compensation claim is a felony subject to 5 years in prison or up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

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