CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team pressed a city official Monday to explain how a Cleveland plow driver got paid up to tens of thousands of dollars he didn’t deserve.
We went to the public works director, but the mystery remains.
Last week, the I-Team revealed an internal investigation into a city plow driver — a “seasonal” hire earning $19.65 an hour.
The investigation began when, somehow, it came to light that the plow driver had been overpaid possibly as much as $40,000 to $70,000.
Of course, that involves your tax money.
So, we asked Public Works Director Frank Williams, “How does somebody make that much money more than they should have?”
Williams told us that is still under review.
“How does nobody catch that?” we asked.
“Well, that’s the part that we’re still investigating, and we’ll deal with that as we go through this process,” he said.
Williams says it appears someone made a clerical error.
However, he had no specifics yet to tell us about what went wrong or who is to blame. We found there is still no criminal investigation and nobody was immediately taken off the job.
“We don’t know where the issue actually happened yet, so I think it would be premature to take someone off the job.” Williams said.
The I-Team also asked the mayor’s office if this case triggered any kind of audit in payroll for City of Cleveland employees — a big picture look to see if any other workers have been overpaid.
So far, no. The mayor’s office says this seems to be “an isolated incident.”
Many viewers have reacted to our reporting on this. Last week, a west side activist spoke out demanding the city do a better job of handling tax dollars.
Meanwhile, on Monday, city councilman Kevin Bishop said, “We want to know everything.”
Bishop heads a council committee overseeing public works, so he is also watching.
“We want to know how this error happened,” he said. “We want to know who was responsible for it and what we’re going to do to rectify and make sure it never happens again.”
The public works director says one added factor is overtime for plow drivers. Williams tells us that even though we saw very little snowfall, plow drivers did work overtime on days when snow was in the forecast.
“As we get more information and do our investigation, we should have a bit more understanding of the size of the issue and also how it occurred,” Williams said.
The I-Team will keep pressing for the details.