Hartford auditors provided updates Wednesday on a pair of issues involving city employees, including healthcare fraud and concerns about city council aides and time sheets.
The auditors told the audit commission at its monthly meeting that they had recently met with the chief state’s attorney’s office regarding an investigation into health insurance fraud by roughly two dozen city of Hartford and Hartford Public Schools employees.
After consulting with prosecutors, auditors decided the best course of action was to send “demand letters” to at least a dozen current and former city and school employees, asking them to repay thousands of dollars' worth in fraudulent health insurance claims that were made.
Some of the current and former employees have paid back the city already, so they won’t get demand letters.
If those who receive the letters fail to repay the city, they may be prosecuted or taken to civil court.
The city and school board had hired a third-party consultant to investigate the potential health insurance fraud claims last year.
City auditors then determined that more than two dozen city and school employees had failed to take ex-spouses and others off the city health care plan, yet those individuals kept incurring claims for years in some cases.
The ex-spouse of one now-retired teacher had in fact made fraudulent claims totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars over more than a decade, according to city auditors.
Auditors also briefed commissioners about recent concerns involving city council aides and lax supervision of their timesheets.
They were alerted about the issue through a letter from a concerned citizen.
Chief Auditor Craig Trujillo said that a new timecard system has been in place for a month and all council aides have been using it successfully.