I-Team: Group overseeing Cleveland police earning $250 an hour of taxpayer money

CLEVELAND-- The FOX 8 I-Team uncovered people collecting astonishing paychecks adding up to hundreds of thousands of dollars while earning $250 an hour of your tax money.

The I-Team obtained the latest totals for members of a federal monitoring group overseeing reform in the Cleveland Division of Police. We found a hidden cost that may be more than you had ever imagined.

A few years ago, a federal group of more than a dozen citizens started earning $250 an hour. Some of them have no law enforcement background. Now we’ve found many have collected between a total ranging between $200,000 and $500,000.

The monitoring group includes four people from Cleveland. Records show Charles See made $210,846.70; Ayesha Hardaway $269,679.75; Timothy Tramble $105,311.95; and Victor Ruiz $81,735.20.

We reached See by phone and he referred us to the leader of the monitoring group. Tramble wouldn’t come out of an office to see us. Hardaway and Ruiz were not around when we went to their offices, and they didn’t return messages.

The Cleveland Police Monitoring Team website shows the group helped develop new policies for use of force, training, hiring and more.

Still, Cleveland Councilman Brian Kazy also wonders, at what cost?

"I do monitor what they submit in their bills monthly, and they charge us $50 for a five minute phone call. Or, doing an email  and they charge us $100... At $250 an hour," Kazy said.

So how long will this group get paid to oversee change in the Cleveland Division of Police? The group does have a limit. But it could keep working about another year and a half. The group could collect a total of about another $1 million.

The head of the monitoring group also did not return messages for this story.

In the past, he’s argued members of the group also do a lot of work for free. But Councilman Kazy and others have also raised questions about that. All of the expenses are reviewed by a federal judge.

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