Cleveland City Hall responds to ITEAM EMS overtime questions

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CLEVELAND - Cleveland City Hall is responding to a FOX 8 I TEAM investigation into massive amounts of overtime for an EMS supervisor.

The city is defending Sgt. Gwendolyn McCue. Assistant Safety Director Ed Eckart describes her as an incredibly valuable member of the Emergency Medical Service.

The I TEAM revealed last week that McCue last year had a base salary of more than $52,000. But with overtime, she earned more than $101,000. In reviewing time cards, we noticed overtime almost every day and almost every weekend day.

The city explains that by saying McCue oversees recruitment and training for EMS. Plus, she recently oversaw new training for firefighters to handle overdoses with drugs such as heroin. And, we’re told McCue also oversaw new training for police in first aid.

Ed Eckart said, "The amount of work that was done that benefited the city of Cleveland I think was outstanding." He added, "There was no question relative to any impropriety with her not being where she was supposed to be. There's no question that she worked every minute of the time. There's no question or issue with her integrity."

The I TEAM also found, in the previous two years, McCue earned more than $25, 000 in overtime and more than $32,000 in overtime.

Eckart blames that in part on extra training related to the Ebola crisis and getting emergency crews ready to deal with infectious disease outbreaks.

The city adds, the EMS division came under budget by $400,000 last year. And the city says it is always reviewing how it should change or add staffing depending on workloads and new situations.