CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The City of Cleveland has terminated a Cleveland waste collector as a result of a Carl Monday exclusive investigation that aired last month. The same waste collector, Tyronza Smith, is now under investigation by the Cleveland Police Department and nine others including some supervisors face disciplinary charges as part of the city's internal review.
Four years ago, the City of Cleveland rolled out its new automated waste collection system. It was supposed to cut costs and reduce efficiency but a Carl Monday investigation found that's not necessarily the case.
Overtime for waste collectors will cost taxpayers more than one million dollars this year, double the budgeted amount. And overall, the waste collection budget hasn't budged, at around $24 million.
The Mayor's Office refused to allow Cleveland 19 News to interview anyone in the Waste Division. But in an email, a spokesman for Mayor Jackson attributed the overtime increase on broken down vehicles and sick and injury time-off for waste collectors.
Carl Monday and his team may have found another reason: abuse of the overtime system. On five different days of surveillance, Monday documented waste collector Tyronza Smith clocking in, then going home or running errands before beginning his shift.
For example, on one day, hidden cameras showed how Smith didn't pick up any trash for the first seven hours of his shift. But city time card records show he worked about twelve hours that day,and was paid four hours overtime.
During his scheduled shifts, Smith was seen driving to a Beachwood motel, picking up a female passenger, and driving her to a housing complex near downtown.
On other days, Monday's cameras caught him at home for hours at a time, when time records show he was working.
This shouldn't come as a surprise to Smith's bosses at the E.55th & Carnegie Waste Division garage.
Smith has already been suspended five times for failing to swipe out at the end of his shift, or going A.W.O.L. in the middle of the workday. He was also suspended for failing to disclose a felony on his record.
For now, Smith is out of a job and could face criminal charges. Nine other Cleveland employees, including some supervisors also face disciplinary charges.
We'll keep you update as the falling out continues following Carl Monday's investigation.
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