CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has found an internal investigation showing a city of Cleveland plow driver spent time sleeping on the job during the biggest snowstorm in memory.
It happened on the same night the same driver had been caught on camera plowing a private driveway. The I-Team revealed that video earlier.
Now, the city has released the file for the full investigation. It led to the firing of maintenance driver Douglas McKenzie.
At the same time, city hall is taking steps to prevent this from happening again.
Back in February, a massive snowstorm blew through Northeast Ohio. Then, the I-Team revealed video of a city worker plowing a private driveway.
Now, records just released show the final discipline.
Internal investigators wrote, “You were asleep during your shift.”
Investigators noted a period of hours “in which your whereabouts cannot be accounted for.” The records also show “you are being terminated.”
So, we went back to the citizen who’d recorded the video of the city worker in the private driveway.
The witness said, “Who’s supervising this guy? It’s not only him. It’s the supervisors that are not doing their job.”
This city worker had been assigned to plow the Muni Lot overnight. Supervisors later checked security video at the parking lot.
They found the truck assigned to that worker was not seen in any video from 12:30 a.m. until 5:15 a.m. Somehow, bosses had no idea at the time that the plowing was not getting done even for hours.
A summary of the investigation also shows “you were asleep” in a city truck in a city garage. The report also says “you woke up” and “fell asleep again.”
That witness added, “That means there’s no one watching him out here on the stree, or there in their own building.”
We contacted city hall, and the city’s chief operating officer, Bonnie Teeuwen said, “All of our falls give us an opportunity.”
The city is taking new steps to make sure you get hard work for your tax dollars.
GPS trackers are starting to go into all city vehicles for all departments. The trackers even have alarms in case a vehicle sits for a long time or goes outside designated area.
Teeuwen added, “It’s all about productivity. The first thing is what can you do to improve your efficiency?”
Meanwhile, the Teamsters Union says the city’s new mayor and his staff are battling old problems.
“People get in bad habits and management not proactively managing their workforce, that’s how those things happen,” Carl Pecorara said. “I think the city is taking a good approach towards that.”
That witness hopes he won’t see something like this again.
He said, “They’re getting paid to do nothing with our tax dollars.”
City Councilman Kevin Bishop heads the municipal services and properties committee. He calls what happened “unacceptable.”
He said, “Clevelanders are crying out for help with better services.” He says council will hold the administration accountable.
We tried reaching out to the fired city worker, but we had no luck making contact.
It’s not clear yet when all of the city’s new checks and balances will be in place, but the union says these kinds of things are already coming up in contract talks.
The internal report also answered one mystery about the city worker plowing a private driveway. Whose driveway was that? Records show the address comes back to the home of a fellow city worker.