IG investigates possible theft within city’s aviation department

Politics - Government

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque worker with the city’s aviation department made thousands in overtime pay for time that he may have never even worked. The possible theft is outlined in a new report from the Office of the Inspector General.


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Employees reported that a shift supervisor in the custodial division was earning a significant amount of overtime, even though no one ever saw him working those shifts. Today, that employee still has a job. “Still a supervisor. As mentioned earlier, yes he’s still in that section and the appropriate actions were taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” Aviation Department Deputy Director Richard McCurley stated.

The OIG looked into the report of possible theft and said it appears the shift supervisor was not working during 22 recorded overtime shifts. That’s an extra 176 hours clocked between December 2018 and November 2019. That comes out to about $5,000 pre-tax from an enterprise fund, and not tax-payer dollars.

That supervisor claimed he was working on projects and cleaning the floors in vacant buildings outside the Sunport for overtime, according to the report. But, the aviation director said each of those buildings was being leased and the tenants were responsible for their own cleaning services. Plus, there’s no electronic record of him swiping his badge to gain access.

The report also found that a custodial coordinator manually clocked out for the supervisor during those overtime shifts. Now, the city says there’s new management and policies in place to keep it from happening again. “We’ve hired a new division manager for that section, we’ve also hired a new custodial coordinator. They’ve gone on to implement new policies and procedures. We also have started training programs on a monthly basis,” McCurley added.

There were also concerns that the custodial coordinator and another employee were ordering supplies for personal use or to make a profit, items like laundry detergent, car wax, and expensive tarps that went missing. But, there wasn’t enough evidence to prove any theft.

Overall, the OIG found the custodial coordinator violated the city’s IT policies by having other workers’ user IDs and passwords. That employee retired early last October, according to the report. The report says the case was referred to the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office.

The Office of Inspector General conducted an investigation based on information received regarding concerns involving the Aviation Department Custodial Division. See full report below:

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