ALBANY — An audit of public workers with more than one job found routine abuses that resulted in inflated paychecks for hours not worked, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Thursday.
Auditors found more than a fifth of the 345 employees examined regularly violated time and attendance policies, costing taxpayers $413,277 for hours not worked. This included a psychiatric nurse who reported working for the state mental health agency and a public school in the Bronx at the same time and a state court employee drawing pay for time when he was teaching at City University of New York schools.
The employees were essentially boosting their salaries more than 4 percent, the comptroller said.
“Our audits found supervisors were lax and often complicit in allowing employees to game the system,” said DiNapoli, who claimed that employees falsified timesheets, abused sick leave and misrepresented travel time from one job to another.
Though the audit looked at a relatively small number of employees in six agencies, DiNapoli warned the problem could be costly. Estimating that public employees holding two or more jobs account for more than $500 million in pay annually, DiNapoli said even a small percentage of double dipping could cost millions of dollars.
Each agency is performing internal investigations. Two employees were fired at the Office of Children and Family Services and a third resigned, DiNapoli said.
In a response to auditors’ findings, the Office of Children and Family Services said it will “continue to examine ways to train and remind employees about the policies and procedures which relate to dual employment and extra employment.”
The other agencies audited were the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, the Office of Mental Health and the Unified Court System.