CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Tyronza Smith is the poster child for waste of tax dollars in the Cleveland Division of Waste Collection.
Chief Investigative Reporter, Carl Monday, and his undercover cameras, caught him at home, repeatedly, sometimes even out of the city, while he was on the clock. He also falsified his time records to cover it up.
Carl's investigation lead to his indictment on charges of theft in office.
As Smith was set to go to trial, Tuesday, he cut a deal with the County Prosecutor. In court, Smith pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of attempted theft in office and will be sentenced on Aug. 16. Both parties are working out what, if any, restitution Smith will have to pay.
Monday's undercover video, the prosecutors primary evidence, showed how Smith routinely bilked the system, charging the city overtime on days he barely worked. On one day, Smith didn't work the first seven hours of his shift, but still managed to collect four hours of overtime.
No wonder overtime in the Division of Waste Collection was more than $1 million last year, more than double the budgeted amount. Even when much of the waste pick-up is now automated, something the city said would cut costs.
Monday's investigation drew fire from Councilman Polensek, who said, "What's wrong here? What the hell is going on in waste collection?"
Public Works Director, Michael Cox, promised the city would get to the bottom of wasteful spending in the Division of Waste. Cox said, "Mr. Monday, we will investigate." Director Cox held true to his word.
In the end, more than two dozen waste employees were disciplined, including supervisors, and the Commissioner himself, who was demoted.
The Prosecutor's Office would not say if there could be more indictments down the road.
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