The city of Cleveland has fired five employees in its division of waste collection after shelling out $1.3 million in overtime in 2015 and realizing that lots of garbage men just aren’t showing up for work.
Council members were incensed and confused at a finance meeting Monday, at which city finance director Sharon Dumas apprised them of the grim year-end totals: they paid 274 percent more than they’d budgeted on overtime for waste collection.
“Chronic absenteeism” was the problem of that Dumas emphasized, though council members pointed to deeper concerns. Was the division understaffed? Under equipped? Was absenteeism why garbage was being picked up so late in some areas and not at all in others?
A director from outside the division is being brought in to sort out the inefficiency.
Much of this was brought to the city’s attention when Channel 19’s Carl Monday chronicled the overtime fiasco in action.
With hidden cameras, Monday's investigative team followed a city garbage collector as he clocked in and then spent hours running personal errands and chilling at his house, all on the city’s dime.
In one instance, the employee, Tyronza Smith, didn’t start work until seven hours into his shift. Smith has since been fired. Check out Monday's original investigation below.
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