Power Nap: Carl Monday pulls the plug on sleeping public power workers

Power Nap: Carl Monday pulls the plug on sleeping public power workers
A Cleveland Public Power employee sleeping during work hours.
Cleveland Public Power worker sleeping on the clock. (Source: WOIO)
Cleveland Public Power worker sleeping on the clock. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland Public Power employees who make at least $25 hourly were caught napping on the job and only putting in about 2.5 hours of work recently.

As the sun began to rise above the power grid at Cleveland Public Power, the trucks are ready to roll after a wild weather night of heavy rains and down power lines on Nov. 29.

On a day when Cleveland Public Power employees are out in full force, some were caught sleeping. In fact, this wasn't the only day workers were caught snoozing behind the wheel, on the clock this winter.

"Cleveland Public Power naps" are happening all over the city by several tree trimming crews. A favorite nap spot is at Steelyard Commons, right behind Burlington Coat Factory. There we caught CPP employees on several occasions sleeping and even shopping.

When I asked how their naps were, Cleveland Public Power workers declined to comment or denied sleeping at all on the taxpayer's dime.

I'm not saying the Cleveland Public Power crews we followed don't do any work. We did see them trimming trees and feeding limbs into a chipper. But in many cases, they were not. So, what are taxpayers getting from some CPP workers who earn around $25 an hour?

"The city is still crying broke, and they're ripping me off. Where does it end? Where does it end?" cried Bonnie Chaney a resident on Cleveland's west side.

Bonnie Chaney is disputing a cost recovery charge on her CPP bill that has cost her hundreds of dollars. After looking at photos of napping CPP workers, she about blew a fuse.

"This is a full-blown sleep. This is a sleep after an eight course meal -- Thanksgiving dinner when you can just barely get up from the table and make it to the couch and fall out for three hours, not a nap," said Chaney.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union contract states workers get a half hour lunch and two 15 minute breaks.

But clearly, some workers aren't losing any sleep when it comes to violating the contract. The first Cleveland Public Power crew caught sleeping at Steelyard Commons was also caught napping on several other occasions in a remote area under the I-90 overpass.

Look at one CPP crew's day, as recorded by Cleveland 19's investigative team:

8 a.m.- Crew began day at the CPP yard located at West 44th Street and Interstate 90

8:39 a.m. - Stopped at a local restaurant, then parked city truck on West 30th Street to nap for more than an hour.

10:03 a.m. - Tree trimmers finally showed up on East 38th Street and Archwood Avenue

10:23 a.m.-  Tree trimming crew packed up and headed to Steelyard Commons. Passenger slept and the driver of the truck went into Walmart to do some shopping. The driver then dropped by Chipotle, where she met a man for lunch.

12:45 p.m. - CPP crew departed Steelyard Commons and drove to the near west side on West 11th Street, where they trimmed some trees and feed them into the chipper.

2:36 p.m. - The CPP crew left West 11th Street, but instead of driving to another job, they parked under the I-90 bridge to kill the next hour sleeping and talking on the phone before returning to the CPP yard a half hour before their shift ended.

The crew was supposed to work an eight-hour day, but they were only seen working about two and a half hours. Where is the supervision? Where's the accountability?

Watch my story at 11 p.m. on Cleveland 19 Thursday. 

Cleveland Public Power watched our investigation, and surveillance video. I'll have their response in my next report Friday.

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