CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The shake up continues in the Cleveland Division of Waste Collection, after a Carl Monday investigation uncovered a culture of overtime abuse and lack of supervision. The latest list of disciplined workers includes waste collectors, drivers and supervisors who gamed the system.
Eighteen additional waste collection employees have been disciplined for bad work habits, and in some cases, not working at all. The latest round of discipline includes two workers who have been terminated, and six who were suspended. The others await disciplinary hearings.
The city vowed to crack down on this type of behavior in the Division of Waste Collection and Disposal, after Carl Monday's hidden camera investigation showed workers like Tyronza Smith abusing the system.
While overtime ballooned to more than a million dollars, more than double the budgeted amount, Smith was getting paid up to four hours overtime on days Carl and his team caught him slacking off on up to seven hours of his regular eight hour shift.
The City wasted no time in terminating the waste collector. Darnell Brown, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Cleveland, reacted to Monday's investigation by saying, "I was incensed. I mean the fact that somebody would be that open, that cavalier about going about doing their own personal business while being paid by the City of Cleveland…that's ridiculous."
Also terminated were some of Smith's bosses. Two foreman were fired, along with an assistant superintendent. The man at the top of the division, Commissioner Randell Scott, was reassigned. With this latest round of discipline, 30 waste collection employees have now been disciplined since Monday's investigation began.
The current group of employees includes waste workers who walked off the job in the middle of the workday, fell asleep on the job, or refused a job assignment.
One of those workers is Mario McCoy, who was fired for, among other things, clocking in at the waste garage, then leaving work two hours later; more than a month after Tyronza Smith was caught on hidden camera doing essentially the same thing.
In McCoy's case, at least the city didn't play favorites.
At a recent finance committee meeting, where waste collection overtime abuse was discussed, Councilman Mike Polensek unloaded on the troubled Division.
"What's wrong here? What the hell is going on in waste collection? Every week I get calls in my office about how poor waste collection is. And I see a 274% hike in overtime. That should be sending rockets off," said Polensek.
The Division of Waste Collection and Disposal has a new Acting Commissioner, but we're told he's on a short leash. If things aren't cleaned up soon, sources tell Monday the city administration will make a push to privatize waste collection.
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