Fresno · Highlight

Audit of Fresno P.D. moonlighting shows issues with timecards

Some employees in the Fresno Police Department were teaching classes at Fresno City College at the same time they were supposed to be working at their City jobs, says a City Hall audit released on Thursday.

The audit was prepared by City Hall’s Internal Audit division. The report was delivered to City Manager Wilma Quan and the Administration of Mayor Lee Brand.

Says the audit: “In April 2018, the City Manager and Mayor received anonymous e-mails alleging that Fresno Police Department employees were both teaching classes at the Fresno City College (FCC) Police Academy while on City time and were working more hours than allowed. In response, the City Manager requested that Internal Audit investigate the claims. Internal Audit conducted a review of the Police Department’s payroll and work permits for those officers teaching courses at FCC for the audit period January 1, 2015 through April 30, 2018.”

City code allows employees holding full-time permanent jobs to work a second job elsewhere after first getting a work permit. The idea is to ensure that the second job does not create a conflict of interest. City Hall also wants to make sure that full-timers are primarily focused on doing a good work in their City job.

Says the audit: “However, Internal Audit found there were Fresno Police Officers who did not comply with these rules and regulations. Specifically, Internal Audit determined the following:

1.) “Four temporary part-time employees (Background Investigators) taught courses while on City time. Each of the individuals reported time on their City timesheets that conflicted with time they reported teaching courses on their FCC timesheets.”

The audit says a total of about $19,000 was paid to the four that “cannot be verified as being appropriately disbursed.” The audit adds that “the department cannot verify whether or not the Background Investigators were actually on City time during the hours they reported as working for the City on their timesheets. It must be noted that although these individuals did not accurately report their time worked for the City, their timesheets were signed off by their supervisors.”

2.) “One officer taught courses while they were scheduled on patrol with the City.”

3.) “Three officers on special assignment had City hours that overlapped with hours they reported teaching at FCC.”

4.) “Four officers on special assignment had City hours that overlapped with hours they reported teaching at FCC. However, given their ability to flex their schedules, it could not be determined with certainty that the individuals were working for the City at the time.”

5.) “For six officers on special assignment, it could not be determined if there was overlap given that the individuals do not report the time they actually worked because their position requires schedules that regularly vary.”

The audit also notes that the officers did not follow municipal code requiring them to maintain an active work permit. Some also worked more hours than permitted.

The audit includes recommendations to the Police Department. They include:

1.) “Establish a policy that requires all part-time employees submit accurate timesheets that record the actual hours they worked and that holds the employees accountable for the hours they report on their timesheets.”

2.) “Reduce the leave balance for the Patrol Officer or seek to recover from them the wages paid to them for the time they did not work.”

3.) “Establish a method by which officers in command document the actual hours worked by their subordinate officers who are on special assignment and do not have a set schedule.”

Police Department management’s response is part of the audit. This response says in part: “… the Department has begun implementing a process whereby all Department employees having outside employment will be required to report all such employment to the Personnel Bureau within a week of having worked. The employee will be required to report and account for any outside employment worked during their normally scheduled City work hours. The reporting will also require proof of supervisory approval to flex City work schedules/hours. Approving supervisors will be accountable for ensuring the employee is fulfilling their commitment to perform their required duties as City employees, and not exceeding the work hour limit pursuant to policy and law. Department policy will be revised to incorporate the new procedure created.”

George Hostetter
George Hostetter is The Sun’s Fresno Civic contributor – covering the City of Fresno, County of Fresno, and Fresno Council of Governments.