I was just browsing the Chicago Tribune’s Web site. Two short items on findings by local inspectors general have just been posted. If city and Cook County residents wonder how Chicago’s budget and the county’s can each be hundreds of millions of dollars out of balance despite some of the highest taxes in the nation, these articles provide some explanation:
Headline #1: Forest Preserve Report: Theft, sex on job confirmed
Employees at a Cook County Forest Preserve District aquatic center in Lyons were caught on tape stealing thousands of dollars, providing alcohol to minors and having sex at work, according to a report issued this afternoon by the county inspector general.
Some employees under-reported transactions at the Cermak Aquatic Center and pocketed the cash they did not report taking in, Inspector General Patrick Blanchard wrote.
After receiving tips about the skimming, Blanchard secretly recorded about 120 hours of video in late August and early September. That video, along with an accounting review, confirmed the thefts, he said.
Headline #2: Report: Loafing truckers cost city $18M a year
Nearly $18 million could be saved by getting rid of 200 City of Chicago truck drivers who spend parts of their work day loafing or even sleeping, according to a report by Inspector General Joseph Ferguson.
The recommended number of layoffs is about the same as the number of drivers who spend their days doing nothing more than taking other workers to job sites and waiting while those workers do their assigned tasks, according to the report. The inefficiencies are essentially locked in place by a long-term city labor contract that makes change nearly impossible, the report concluded.
Ferguson’s staff began working on the report after seeing a city truck driver just sitting in his vehicle last summer while another worker painted a curb and fire hydrant outside the inspector general’s office, the report states.