ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Free parking and getting paid for not working. Those are the allegations in a new Albuquerque Inspector General investigation concerning the Environmental Health Department. The investigation focused on the allegations that an Environmental Department employee was abusing time and using a city parking permit for a personal vehicle.
The complaint suggests the employee arrived late for work and left early and was using the department director’s parking permit to park their vehicle at Civic Plaza. The director, Angel Martinez, told investigators he assigned it to the employee because the person runs errands and delivers documents and that E1 is the liaison for the Albuquerque-Bernalillo Quality Control Board.
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Martinez told investigators that the employee getting the pass would walk six blocks to get the vehicle and felt that was inconvenient. Investigators asked why the employee didn’t just buy a parking pass like other city workers have to do and if the employee knew they get mileage reimbursement when using their personal vehicle. Investigators found the employee used it only three times in January but starting February 2, it was used daily. The charge for parking under Civic Plaza since the end of January is $588.
The second complaint was that the employee was not correctly reporting the amount of time worked. Investigators looked at time-in and time-out punches from March 6 to August 10 of this year and compared it to the time the employee used the parking pass to get in and out of Civic Plaza. They found approximately 62 total hours the employee was paid but did not work. That totals a little more than $2,000.
The Office of the Inspector General pointed out during the course of the investigation that those interviewed stated there was a toxic environment at EHD. The OIG contacted the Deputy Chief Administrative Office who oversees EHD to inform them of the situation. The Deputy CAO stated they would contact the EHD director and work on rectifying the situation.