Changes Being Made After 13 Firefighters Indicted

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CLEVELAND– Thirteen Cleveland firefighters were indicted Wednesday on charges of theft in office and receiving improper compensation.

The charges were the result of an investigation into the July 2011 audit of the department’s policies regarding personnel and payroll activities.

The investigation found 13 firefighters each failed to work 2000 hours of scheduled time from 2008 through 2010, but were compensated for that time.

“This is a sad day for the Cleveland Fire Department,” said Chief Daryl McGinnis. “I am not happy about what has happened; but this one moment does not reflect the true nature or commitment of Cleveland firefighters.”

Councilman Mike Polensek told FOX 8’s Peggy Sinkovich he is not surprised by the charges and believes supervisors knew what was taking place.

“Of course they had to know. I was born in the morning, but not yesterday morning,” Polensek said. “Come on now; they had to know exactly what was going on. It was a system out of control.”

Polensek and some of his colleagues say they hope Chief McGinnis, who took over the department four months ago, is going to do what is necessary to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future.

The chief said he is making changes to improve payroll policies, record keeping, and accountability.  He says as chief he will make sure the department stays on track.

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