New audit suggests city employees were paid for work they didn’t do

A new audit is calling out the city’s Department of Municipal Development (DMD) for doing a poor job of managing its payroll. They found examples of workers getting two birthdays off per year, and getting holiday pay when there wasn’t a holiday. 

While the audit reveals red flags about the department’s payroll practices, DMD says there was no fraud. 

“We do have a department that uses quite a bit of overtime to make sure our roadways are good for our citizens,” Johnny Chandler, city spokesperson, said. 

They’re the workers seen smoothing over the city’s pothole problem and clearing icy and snowy roads through winter storms. Now, a new audit is exposing the city’s Department of Municipal Development for doing a spotty job of documenting and approving its payroll. 

“The amount of approvals and how swiftly we were approving time cards was way below what we wanted it to be,” Chandler said. 

According to the audit, the DMD paid nearly $9,000 in unapproved overtime and additional birthday leave over two years. Of that total, nine employees were reportedly given holiday overtime on dates that were not on or even near a holiday. There were 16 instances in which people were paid more overtime than the hours documented on the time cards, and nine people were paid so-called “birthday leave” more than once a year. DMD says there’s an explanation. 

“There is no fraud. This is very specifically about documentation and making sure every hour that someone is working or is not working is documented properly,” Chandler said. 

Additionally, the audit says there was no documentation to prove the authorization of $167,000 worth of admin leave, trainer pay, callbacks and standby pay. 

“All taxpayer funds within this report were spent appropriately,” Chandler said. 

The city auditor says he does not suspect any fraud. To read the audit, click here.

DMD says supervisors are now getting better training at how to use the online timecard system. They have since increased their timecard approval rate to 81 percent. 

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