The Chicago Tribune reports that another group of Chicago Fire Department personnel has been suspended for falsifying thousands of dollars worth of mileage reimbursement claims, according to a report released by the city’s top internal watchdog.
In all, 17 firefighters and paramedics in the Fire Prevention Bureau and Public Education Unit were paid more than $35,000 in 2009 for mileage they never traveled on the job, Inspector General Joseph Ferguson’s latest quarterly report states. Many allegedly falsified records to claim the maximum allowed $350 in monthly payments.
All but one, who retired, were suspended without pay for 30 to 45 days. Ferguson had recommended that all be fired, but the city noted a prior failure to make that punishment stick in a related case.
In 2011, Ferguson recommended firing all but one of 54 firefighters assigned to the Fire Prevention Bureau who falsely claimed a total of $100,000 in mileage claims during 2009. Fire Department officials moved to fire four of those firefighters and suspend the rest, but an arbitrator reversed the firings.
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