Council members got a memo that points out seven key issues that the latest audit of the fire department discovered.
19 Action News was first to break the story of internal abuse months ago.
Wednesday, top brass of the fire department sat across the table from city council members and took some heat. The audit points out over payments of overtime, too much sick leave, and a lack of documentation throughout the department dealing with payroll.
City council wasn’t happy and the firefighter’s union is asking for the city to take an even closer look. “This is something like a Watergate thing. More and more is coming out. More and more like Watergate. More and more you lay things down on the table. We didn’t know anything about these laid-off firefighters” says Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed.
Cleveland City Councilman Mike Polensek also commented on the audit saying “clearly there are some lieutenants, captains, battalion chiefs and beyond… who are not doing their jobs. Who didn’t do their jobs.”
Frank Szabo with the Cleveland Firefighters Union says none of his members abused the system. “Not from what I see in the audit…no. I would like to see a comparison with the Division of Fire and other city safety divisions. What the long term average use of sick time was, and to see these comparison’s… cause that is what the relative comparison is and that’s not in the audit” said Szabo.
A special investigation into the abuse will wrap up in May.