It what has been seen by some as an end-run around a recent contract, the Santa Clara District Attorney has found himself subject of scandal and scrutiny after it was revealed that he has used (and potentially abused) his powers to grant paid administrative leave to his attorneys. Last year, he granted 2,200 hours of leave to his 15 supervising attorneys.

The Government Attorneys Association, who was aware of the generous leave program, issued a statement after the news broke over the weekend accusing DA Jeff Rosen on violating ethics and perhaps civil law.

On Monday, County officials ordered a cap on the amount of leave that Rosen could grant his employees – 40 hours per year. Their cap, says Rosen, is proof that he had the authority to grant the leave in the first place and thereby shows he didn’t violate any laws.

Rosen appeared to have used paid administrative leave as a supplement to his attorneys’ regular vacation time, allowing them to “bank” their time off. That banked time could ultimately be sold back to the County upon separation, and serving as a bonus. The other way that the leave program is being portrayed is that it is an end-run around a contract that included pay-cuts. By granting the bankable leave, Rosen is, in effect, supplementing their pay to offset the amounts of their cuts.

Read the full story at the Mercury News.