ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new City of Albuquerque investigation at a public swimming pool shows rampant time card fraud and lack of supervision among the workers. Workers were clocking each other in and out, left and right, padding their paychecks. According to an Inspector General report, a tipster alerted the city that workers were committing time card fraud including the two bosses.
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The city’s Inspector General said the pool manager clocked her aquatic program coordinator in or out 131 times over a three-month period earlier this year. There are also almost 50 seasonal and part-time workers at the pool, some of them were also showing up late and leaving early then clocking each other in and out to pad their timesheets. The IG report said employee badges and scan cards are all left pinned to a corkboard making it easy for them to clock each other in and out.
“Well they’re getting paid for something they’re not doing and that’s wrong,” said James Whitaker, who lives in Albuquerque. “That’s wrong. It could affect the people that are going in.”
The IG’s office urged the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to tighten up the time card policies and discipline the workers involved in the fraud. Parks and Rec said it has already made changes by putting cameras near the time clock and requiring workers to maintain possession of their own badges and scan cards.
Inspectors said the aquatic program coordinator tried to talk his way out of trouble but a cross-check of surveillance video with his time card entries did him in. Inspectors also looked into whether workers were goofing off and taking two-hour lunches. They looked at video surveillance and found one worker on his phone for an hour and a half and another doing her hair and makeup for an hour and a half as well.
Jessica Campbell with the city’s Parks and Rec Department emailed the following statement regarding the IG’s report:
“We are grateful to the Inspector General’s Office for their investigation and recommendations in this case. After reviewing the report, there does not appear to be malicious intent behind the timeclock discrepancies. As such, the Department has already implemented changes in accordance with the Inspector General’s recommendations – including installing security cameras near time clocks at Highland Pool and all other aquatic facilities, conducting additional trainings for staff, ensuring policies and procedures are up-to-date, and requiring staff to maintain possession of their own badges and scan cards.”