Taxpayers react to audit revealing fraudulent overtime

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Disappointment from Richmond taxpayers after the city auditor uncovers nearly $13,000 in fraudulent overtime payments.

One Richmond couple tells me it bothers them that people are taking advantage of taxpayer dollars and they're happy some here at city hall are trying to protect their hard earned money.

To the Towns, every dollar counts.

"We're all struggling at this time so to know that people are unfairly trying to use that to their benefit that's kind of disappointing," said Jamie Town.

The Richmond couple owns a house and provides for their young children.

"I have a concern getting value for my taxes no matter what so whether it's efficiencies in the city or especially someone actually stealing, it's indirectly stealing from me and I don't like that," said Andrew Town.

An audit revealed the city overpaid nearly $13,000 in overtime to 11 workers in the public works and public utilities departments. Last week, 9 city workers were charged with obtaining money by false pretense, including these three who face felony counts.

In public utilities: fraudulent overtime amounted to $7,697.00.52. The findings show most that went to a Water Trades Supervisor, identified by the city auditor as Clinny Crochet, who was paid $4200 for 370 hours in overtime, but actually worked 209.

In public works: there were $5,079.10 in overpayments during a traffic signal project. In the report: the accused employees admitted their was "down time" during normal business hours and overtime wasn't necessary to finish the job.

"$13,000. When I heard that didn't sound like a whole lot of money frankly so for them to go to such lengths to protect that money I'm impressed that they're doing that," said Andrew Town.
The city auditor said this investigation isn't over.

A comprehensive audit for the entire department is also now underway, which is expected to take about three months.

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