It’s no secret that Detroit has had large amounts of corruption in high profile places. None no larger than that of Kwame Kilpatrick who now resides in a Federal lockup awaiting his sentence. However, more ripples of wrong doing are starting to bubble to the surface as more audits and reports are being completed and made public. Greed, money, false reporting have been more than water cooler talk recently.
Case in point: The questionable practices of the pension boards and the trustees that administer them. Emergency Financial Manager Kevin Orr has ordered that 21 pension officials turn over records relating to more than $1.9 billion in excess earnings paid to city retirees and employees.
A very glaring eye must be turned towards the unions now because they continue to fight the filing of the bankruptcy altogether. Unions themselves have been fraught with corruption and questionable practices. If the unions were trying to play in good faith, the leaders would be doing everything possible to help right the financial Titanic called Detroit. In the name of “trying to protect the pensions of the workers” the union leaders and union lawyers keep trying to throw stop sticks in the road. It begs the question: What will be uncovered that the unions don’t want their members to find out?
In the past 48 hours reports have been filed that workers on the 3rd floor of the Coleman A. Young Building in the Human Resources Department are knee deep in their own scandal. It seems that employees had filed unemployment benefits and received them while still being on the job. From July of 2011 to March of 2013 there were 1484 claims processed. Some where near 200 of those claims were likely outright fraud. Another 500 or more were tagged as highly suspect.
A page needs to be taken from the Robert Bobb play book. When he took over as Emergency Manager of the Detroit Public Schools, he wanted to find out who was actually on the payroll working and who were those collecting checks for doing absolutely nothing. In this one genius move he was able to gather information by having employees pick up their payroll checks in person and then bring charges to those who were guilty of fraud.
Your on the right track Kevin Orr. Get your staff ready Kym Worthy. Because when the lights come back on in more ways than one in Detroit, you will see the rats try to scatter to the nearest sewer.