I-TEAM: Hidden camera investigation into pothole crews

CLEVELAND-A Fox 8 I-Team hidden camera investigation once again has found Cleveland pothole crews not filling potholes. And it gives you a glimpse of what you’re really getting for your tax dollars.

The I-Team spent a few days following city public works crews.

We found one working on the near east side. But at mid-morning, the crew took a 20-minute break and then left the job site. We saw workers heading to a maintenance yard leaving a steamroller behind. The crew didn’t return to the steamroller to begin filling potholes for nearly three hours.

On another day, we also saw another crew stop working before 10-30 a.m. and head to a maintenance yard. We didn’t see that crew start filling potholes again for more than two hours.

And on yet another day, we watched a crew waiting for a load of asphalt. That crew worked for twenty minutes then headed to a maintenance yard for an hour and ten minutes.

We caught up with Mayor Frank Jackson at an event this week announcing a new program to fill more potholes and spruce up neighborhoods, a program made possible by a tax increase approved by voters.

But after what we saw on the streets, we asked, ‘Where’s the management?’ Why did it take FOX 8 to spot work not getting done?

The mayor responded, “If you give us the information, and we can identify people who`ve done wrong and did not do the job...we will discipline those who are involved.”

The mayor pointed out the City has 8000 employees and most work hard. As for our current investigation showing gaps in work getting done. The mayor said, “' 'You know. You are making assumptions. We have to validate your assumptions.”

We reminded the mayor and his staff, we found pothole crews not doing their jobs in 2015, and we found tree trimming crews killing time last year, and now this.

And that brought us back to asking about oversight and management.

Drivers and taxpayers, we met want an explanation.

One man said, “They need to be out doing their job just like I`m out doing mine.” And another added, “We`re already paying taxes to get the holes fixed. Why aren`t they done in a timely manner?”

We did give the city some of our video to review along with times and dates of what we saw.

City Hall has promised to get back to us soon.

We’ll update the investigation.

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