Here's city government NOT wasting money
The DN today highlights the success of the city Inspector General's office at earning its keep, while raising one quibble:
Last year, investigations into government employees by the city's Inspector General's Office resulted in 24 arrests/indictments, terminations of 34 people, with 11 others suspended and two demoted. Combining restitution, fines and termination of salaries, this represents $4.2 million of city dollars recovered.
This year, the office is on track to recover $6.5 million. That includes the latest investigation, which revealed that six employees in a division of the finance department that handles ticket appeals by the Parking Authority were involved in a ticket-fixing scheme. Staffers dismissed parking tickets for friends and family. And one company got $50,000 worth of tickets dismissed by deputy director Clorise Wynn in exchange for free and discounted food. (Wynn retired before the city could fire her.)
The I.G.'s office is clearly money well-spent. One improvement we'd like to see: Its reports are not released to the public. While we understand the need to protect witnesses and the innocent, a public version of such reports would be useful. The public has a right to know the names of all involved in ripping off the city, not just employees, but the people and firms who have benefited from corruption.
This last point is really key. Of course you need to catch corrupt employees, but one would also like to see those private entities who treat taxpayer money as a well they can dip into whenever they like, with no repercussions, punished. And maybe one punishment at the city's disposal is public shaming.
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