Former federal prosecutor hired to investigate Cleveland's Fire Department Scandal

19 Action News is breaking another bombshell in a scandal at the Cleveland Fire Department.

The investigation is growing and we just found out that the city has hired a former federal prosecutor to get to the bottom of how some firefighters abused taxpayer's dollars.

City Hall has put former Assistant  U.S. Attorney Ronald Bakeman on the payroll.

You may recall, back in November we revealed a handful of Cleveland firefighters getting full pay and benefits, but only working only a few days a year. They claimed they traded shifts with other firefighters but the city says the ones under investigation never worked for anyone else.

A city audit also found some firefighters have gotten paid twice for sick days.  City Hall says all this has led to the Fire Department spending too much money on overtime.

Enter Ron Bakeman. He has specialized in financial crimes, but city hall could now end up spending more big bucks looking into what really happened to the fire department money.

Bakeman will earn $125 an hour.  He'll look at how the pay for no work happened and he'll help decide if any firefighters should face any charges.

Earlier city hall predicted many questions about all this would be answered by a second audit but we're told the police chief requested the outside help. That second audit should be produced within weeks and Bakeman's contract runs until the end of next month.
The firefighters union has called for an outside investigation saying the city has exaggerated.

According to the city, this is an outside review.

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