Cost to fix fire department payroll abuses around $1M

6:53 PM, Jan 25, 2012   |    comments
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A city audit sounded the alarm on payroll abuses at the Cleveland Fire Department. Now, we're learning how much it's going to cost us to fix the system that let it happen.

The city figures taxpayers should be footing about a $1 million to stamp out problems with the fire department's payroll system.

That broken system allowed some firefighters to be paid for hundreds of hours they never worked, and allowed others to live as far away as San Diego.

Responding to the firestorm created by the audit, Safety Director Marty Flask and staff told city council they will spend about $800,000 to replace the fire department's time keeping system.

The current and outdated paper system will be replaced with a high-tech computer system, equipped with fingerprint scanners to clock in and out.

They'll spend another $50,000 to hire someone to supervise it. Another $50,000 is going to a former federal prosecutor, working with police investigating criminal wrongdoing.

Now, there is a second audit being conducted that is taking a close look at supervision to see how some firefighters were allowed to get paid for doing nothing. That should be wrapped up in one week.


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