I-Team: Where’s your money? County worker under investigation

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The FOX 8 I-Team has found investigators asking, ‘Where’s the money?’ Possibly $150,000 in tax money that should have gone to help struggling families is now missing.

The Cuyahoga County Department of Health and Human Services is investigating a clerk who had held a job in the headquarters for family case workers.

The county says an employee there caught something in a case that “didn’t look right.” The county says it appears a clerk put “fraudulent information into a database” so that she could pocket the money. Again, possibly $150,000.

David Merriman, Asst. Director for the Dept of Health and Human Services, said, “It was a county staff person that found this. And a county staff person that reported it.”

He added, “Much of what we try to do is assess whether or not there is a case that we can go after. But, ultimately, our goal is to stop this behavior to stop people from being fraudulent.”

No criminal charges yet. Internal investigators are still sorting through records working with the county inspector general and Cuyahoga County prosecutors. Is a big case even bigger?

We’ve learned the worker under investigation has resigned.

We met some people outside of a county office complex where families go to get government assistance. One man said, “For me, you know, I’m trying to do the right thing and trying to get ahead. It’s just unfortunate.”
And one woman said, “It’s frustrating. There are families that need that kind of money. Not fair that somebody could just steal that money.”

No telling how long the investigation might take.

But things are moving quickly at Cuyahoga County headquarters. This first came to light just last month, and the case has moved far along already.

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