There are concerns about time card fraud inside Hartford City Hall by the very people expected to protect the public purse.
NBC Connecticut Investigates has learned that new procedures will be recommended after auditors discovered city council aides got paid for a 40-hour workweek, but had little supervision of their hours.
This all came to light after someone called the city fraud hotline.
Auditors looked into the matter for the past month and are going to put out a memo urging city council members to put a stop to the practice.
Certain people in Hartford city government, who log long, irregular hours, are exempt from filling out time sheets.
Unbeknownst to anyone until someone called a city complaint line, was that more than a half dozen aides to city council members have had lax oversight for the time sheets they filled out, for years, maybe even decades.
Auditors at their monthly meeting said going forward that practice will end.
“We are going to push this when the time system is implemented, that they account for all their hours working, so if they come in at eight o’clock, they sign into the system, if they leave at 10, they sign out of the system”, said chief auditor Craig Trujillo.
The move pleased Hartford taxpayer Alyssa Peterson who added “...whoever this anonymous person was, they’ve really corrected the system, which is a positive for the city, I’ll give you that.”
Much to Peterson’s displeasure, auditors said they don’t have the resources to investigate how much money the city might have lost in the past by not tracking council aides’ hours.
Watching how every last dime is spent has taken on added importance since Hartford recently got a $500 million bailout from the state.
So far we have not heard back from the city council president on if she supports having council aides fill out time cards for hours worked.