How could this happen? New development in crossing guard paid after dying

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The FOX 8 I-Team is getting to the bottom of a mystery surrounding your tax dollars.

Months ago, we exposed a case of Cleveland City Hall sending checks to a crossing guard long after she had died. Now two people have been indicted, and we’re asking the city how this could happen at all.

Cuyahoga County prosecutors have indicted Kristin Flowers and Karl Hackney on charges of theft and forgery and more.

Investigators say they are adult children of the crossing guard who died. Prosecutors found they collected and cashed 12 checks that should have never been sent between October 2014 and April 2015.

Prosecutors say this finally came to light after the state pension system caught it by noticing contributions to the deceased woman’s account.

So how could something like this happen? City spokesman Dan Williams said, "The steps that are in place now weren't there before, so it could have been any number of things."

Williams says the city has instituted new procedures with time sheets so that guards only get paid after they actually work. He added, “That paperwork gets filled out. You have to sign it as a crossing guard. You have to take it to the school that you're working with. After that it goes to the Community Police Commander."

Taxpayers we met told us they have no patience for mistakes with their money especially as the city is asking for voters to approve a tax increase.

Crossing guards get paid $20 a day plus benefits, and prosecutors say the total take for the suspects was about $2,000.

The city is hoping they’ll have to pay it back. Records show the suspects are living in Las Vegas. They go to court to begin facing the charges next week.

**Continuing coverage here**

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